Charcoal rot, caused by Macrophomina phaseolina, has
been reported on "millet" (Botswana
1987). This report is subject to question, since the "millet"
referred to in the report was not specifically identified as pearl
millet, and several pathogens of pearl millet (for example, Puccinia
penniseti, Tolyposporium penicillariae, and Claviceps
fusiformis) were identified as causal agents of diseases of
maize. Further verification will be useful before confirming that
charcoal rot is a disease of pearl millet in Botswana.
A disease called dry stalk rot of pearl millet was described
from India and reported to be caused by Macrophomina phaseolina
(Singh et al. 1997). The disease caused
blackening or browning of the stem usually above the first node
and extending beyond the second or third node. Tillering was reduced,
and plants often died before flowering. Pycnidia developed on
infected internodes. Pith tissue was disintegrated, and vascular
bundles were free. Infected plants sometimes lodged. Inoculations
were performed to confirm pathogenicity.
Konde et al. (1980) has reported
isolation of Rhizoctonia bataticola (=Sclerotium bataticola
Taub [teleomorph: Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) G. Goid.])
from seed in India.
Department of Agriculture
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Original posting: June 5, 1999.