Submitted to: Compendium of Chickpea and Lentil Diseases and Pests
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2010
Publication Date: 1/10/2011
Citation: Njambere, E., Chen, W. 2011. Sclerotinia stem and crown rot of chickpea. Compendium of Chickpea and Lentil Diseases and Pests. p. 55-58. Interpretive Summary: Sclerotinia stem and crown rot of chickpea is an important disease under certain production conditions. The disease could be caused by one of three species, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, S. minor and S. trifoliorum. The disease can be initiated either by mycelia infection causing crown rot or by ascospores causing stem rot. White mycelia is usually present on infected plants. All three species of the pathogen survive in soil as sclerotia which may persist in soil for many years. This chapter provides description of Sclerotinia stem and crown rot of chickpea, its causal agents, and management practices.
Technical Abstract: White mold of chickpea is caused by three soil borne fungi Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, S. minor and S. trifoliorum, causing either stem rot and crown rot. Stem infection, usually above ground and initiated by ascospores through carpogenic germination of scleroia produces stem rot, whereas crown infection results in crown rot. Stem rot frequently occurs at or after starting flowering usually after closing canopy. Initial symptoms include small brown lesions on stem, and the lesion elongate, stem whitening, wilting and stem breakage. White fluffy mycelium may be present. Black irregularly shaped sclerotia may form on the stem. Crown rot results from infection near soil line usually by mycelium either direct germination of sclerotia or by mycelium from adjacent infected plants. The obvious symptom is wilting of infected plants. All three pathogen species survive in soil as sclerotia for 10 to 12 years without suitable host plants. The disease is favored by cool moist weather. Identification of the pathogen species and management practices are discussed.