Pepper Diseases

Melanie Lewis Ivey, Hadziabdic, Denita, Hollier, Clayton A., Ferrin, Donald M., Overstreet, Charles

Pepper anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum spp. affects ripe (mature) and unripe (immature) pepper fruit. In older lesions, black structures (acervuli) may be observed. Warm, moist weather during fruit development, poorly drained soil and plant stress caused by improper fertilization practices favor disease development.

Blossom-end rot is an abiotic disorder of peppers caused by calcium deficiency during fruit development.

Tomato spotted wilt of pepper. The Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus infects a wide range of hosts, including tomatoes and peppers. The virus is transmitted by thrips, tiny insects that are usually found in the flowers. The use of reflective mulches and resistant varieties help to prevent this disease.

Pepper anthracnose. Circular or angular sunken lesions may develop on immature fruit of any size, particularly during ripening. Lesions can develop on stems and foliage as well.

Sunscald occurs commonly on peppers exposed to intense sunlight. The exposed tissues appear sunken and white with a dry papery appearance. These lesions are often colonized by opportunistic fungi that may further contribute to rotting of the fruit.

Southern blight, caused by the soilborne fungus Sclerotium rolfsii, results in the wilting and death of affected pepper plants.

Bacterial spot caused by Xanthomonas spp.. Initial symptoms appear on the lower surfaces of leaves as small, irregular water-soaked areas. These spots enlarge as disease progresses and become purplish gray with black centers. As the disease progresses the center of the lesions drop out forming a shot-hole appearance.

Mycelia of Sclerotium rolfsii is often visible at the base of plants with southern blight.

Phytophthora capsici, the cause of Phytophthora blight of peppers, attacks both the roots and aboveground parts of pepper plants.

Phytophthora blight affects all parts of the pepper plant, here seen causing stem lesions and fruit rot. Note the profuse sporulation of the pathogen on infected tissues. The pathogen is spread rapidly by rain-splashing and the wind.

6/13/2005 6:04:35 PM
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