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Causal Agent: 

Bacterium (Erwinia chryzanthemi pv zeae)

Characteristic Symptoms:
The bacterium causes the internodes to turn tan to brown and become water soaked, soft and slimy.
 Affected plants suddenly collapse and fall over.
Foul odor may be produced on the affected tissues.
Rotting at the base of the whorl may also occur.
Conditions for Disease Development:
The bacterium causing the disease attacks the plant through natural openings, wounds in the leaf whorl, stalks, and roots caused by insects and injuries brought about by strong winds or mechanical means.
It can also be spread by water splashing.
The disease usually occurs after pollination.
High humidity. high temperatures, high amount of rainfall, flooding and excessive watering favour disease development.
Management and Control:
Plant in fields with good drainage.Avoid excessive irrigation.
Avoid excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers and provide adequate source of potassium fertilization.
Cultivate the field thoroughly to incorporate residues from the previous cropping and reduce the amount of inoculum.
Apply fungicide such as copper-containing compounds (e.g. Kocide®, Champion®) at 7- to 10-day interval.


Field Crop Diseases. Information and Management for Illinois.University of Illinois. 2001.

The CIMMYT Maize Program. 2003. Maize Diseases: A Guide for Field Identification. 4th edition. Mexico, D.F.: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).

To view other diseases,  click here.

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