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White Mold, A Plant Disease | North American Farmer

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White Mold

About the Disease: The white mold disease is the fungal disease that mainly affects the vegetable crops. For instance, the carrots, beans, lettuce and tomatoes are the main plants that get affected by the fungus.

Cabbage can also get affected. In many of the diseases, caused by the fungus in the cucurbits, you can clearly observe the leaf spots on the entire length of the upper and lower portions of the leaf. But in this case, you cannot observe such leaf spots. Instead the main region that gets affected is the stem region and the fruit region.

Symptoms: The main symptom that can be observed is the infected fruit. The infected stem will be fully filled with the white colored powder. The fungal growth on the layer of fruits and on the surface of stem can be observed in the form of a white fluffy layer. The cottony growth is one of the characteristic features of the plant affected by this fungus. This rot may occur either during the growing phase or post harvest period. The fruits will get infected very easily. They will become rotten and watery. Sclerotia can be seen within these fruits, after they rot completely. Sclerotia actually refer to the growth of the fungus in the fruits. This will be occurring in the form of a raised structure and is dark black in color.

Pathogens: Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is the main fungus that is responsible for causing this disease in the plants like carrots or beans.

Time of Occurrence: The white mold disease mainly occurs when the infected blossom remains within the plant.

Conditions Favoring Disease: Since this is a fungal disease, the humid conditions can favor the growth of the fungus as well as the progression of the disease. The overcrowding can also be a favoring factor.

Disease Management: Crop rotation can be practiced to prevent the disease from occurring again. When you grow the infected carrot for one season, this needs to be followed by another season, containing beans as the main crops. In this way, the infection left behind by one plant will continue or spread to the next season crops. The infected fruit must never be used as the compost for the growth of the plants. This has to be surely avoided. There must be a lot of space between each plant. Water stagnation needs to be avoided. When there is enough aeration in the field and if plants are grown far apart, you can easily prevent the disease.