No. 20 Article 4/August 24, 2012

More Charcoal Rot Observed

In the last issue of the Bulletin (no. 19), Suzanne Bissonnette described charcoal rot in soybean and reported its prevalence in central Illinois. In my travels in the past week, I have observed charcoal rot in several fields in southern Illinois in both soybean and corn. The vascular tissue of corn stalks affected by charcoal rot will be shredded. Microsclerotia (small, dark survival structures of the charcoal rot fungus) also will be inside the vascular tissue of affected corn and soybean plants.

Shredded vascular tissue of a corn stalk caused by the charcoal rot fungus, Macrophomina phaseolina.

A soybean field in Saline County, Illinois, affected by charcoal rot.

Soybean pith with dark-gray discoloration due to microsclerotia of the charcoal rot fungus.

The strength of affected corn stalks will be compromised, and lodging will occur readily. Cornfields affected by charcoal rot may need to be harvested before severe lodging occurs.--Carl A. Bradley

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