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Gibberella Stalk Rot

About the Disease: This is a fungal disorder where the pith of the plant’s stalk region becomes diseased.

Symptoms: As its name suggests, the major region that gets affected is the pith of the plant and the vascular bundles. When you observe the vascular bundles, you can find that it has turned reddish. The stalk surface gets totally affected. It has so many specks that are black in color. These are mainly seen near the node region. You can see them and can even try to scrap them off using your fingernail.

Pathogen Involved: There are few major pathogens that are involved in the disease process. Gibberella zeae, which is also scientifically called as the Fusarium graminaerum, is the main causative agent. This fungal disease not only affects the corn, but also other plants like wheat, oats, rye, barley and so on. The seedlings can also get affected with the formation of blights. Fusarium graminaerum is a stalk rot causing pathogen that is widely prevalent in countries like United States of America.

Time of Occurrence: A specific time period is suitable for each disease. When the time arrives, the pathogens will start thriving in large quantities and will penetrate into the plant through various entry points. In the case of this infection, it mainly occurs after the period of pollination. First the infection will occur on the leaves the leaf sheath as well as on the roots. It might also occur in the brace roots. After this occurs, the infection will further spread to the lower part of the stem and then it spreads to the entire plant.

Conditions Favoring Disease: There are several conditions that further help in the growth of the fungus and in the formation of the disease. This includes the temperature and climate aspects. If the temperature is a little warm as well as humid, the disease might occur.

Disease Management: If you find that the seedlings are more prone to disease, then such varieties need not be grown in the field. Those varieties that are resistant can be cultivated in large quantities. These resistant hybrids are quiet costly. The soil fertility must always be maintained in a balanced state. All nutrients must be available for the plants. There must not be overcrowding of plants. When too many plants are grown, it can lead to the disease. You need to count the ideal number of plants that can be grown in each section of the large field or the garden. Planning is one of the most essential things in cultivation.