Colletotrichum crown rot (anthracnose crown rot) of strawberries is caused by the fungi Colletotrichum gloeosporiodes and Colletotrichum fragariae. Both pathogens can kill the plants by invading the crown tissue. In Louisiana, disease is most likely to occur during when temperatures exceed 77° F.
Symptoms: Plants initially show symptoms of water stress (mild wilting). As the disease progresses, the plants wilt completely and collapse. Cutting lengthwise through the crown reveals a reddish-brown tissue discoloration. Symptoms of Colletotrichum crown rot are often confused with those of Phytophthora crown rot. It is critical that the pathogen causing the symptoms be identified in the laboratory because management practices differ considerably between the two diseases.
Management: Because there are no known cultivars with resistance to C. gloesporioides or C. acutatum, using disease-free transplants is the most effective method of disease management. Currently, there is no certification program to guarantee that transplants are free of crown rot; therefore, you should always purchase from a reputable source and ask transplant producers what methods they are using to reduce the risk of crown rot infection. Information on managing Colletotrichum crown rot can be found in the LSU AgCenter Disease Management Guide.
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|Small Fruit Disease Factsheets|
|Angular Leaf Spot of Strawberry||Botrytis Fruit Rot of Strawberry|
|Disease Management in Organic Farming Systems||E-Extension|
IPM Resources for Small Fruit
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture