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Anthracnose (Glomerella glycines)
Johnnie P. Snow
Louisiana State University (retired)
Anthracnose occurs in all major soybean growing areas of the world. The disease reduces stands, seed quality and yields. Losses are greatest in the southeastern United States. Although seedling infection can occur from overwintered fungus on infected seed or crop residue, anthracnose is generally a late-season disease. Late infections occur during bloom or early pod development when conditions are wet and humid for a prolonged period.
The fungus produces an abundance of spores which infect and kill lower branches, leaves, and young pods. Foliar symptoms include leaf rolling and veinal necrosis. Symptoms appear on stems, pods, and petioles as red or dark-brown areas. Later these areas are covered with black fruiting bodies (acervuli) that resemble tiny pin cushions. Infection of young pods results in empty pods at maturity. Pods infected later contain shriveled or moldy seed, and may have dark lesions on the seed coat.
Anthracnose is controlled by applying foliar fungicides between bloom and pod fill, and planting pathogen-free seed. Rotation will reduce disease incidence.