Anthracnose Stalk Rot and Top Die-Back Back To Results Email Tweet. Anthracnose in corn can be present as leaf blight, top die-back, or stalk rot. The same case can happen to the part of the corn plant that is below the ear. The fungus overwinters on leaf and stalk debris serving as a source of disease in upcoming growing seasons. Closely monitor fields with leaf blight should conditions favor development of the stalk rot phase of anthracnose. Anthracnose leaf blight and stalk rot of corn, caused by the fungus Colletotrichum graminicola, is a disease of worldwide importance.Yield losses can approach 40% and up to 80% lodging has been observed in fields with severe levels of anthracnose. Anthracnose stalk rot is the most common corn stalk rot and occurs late in the growing season. Anthracnose in corn can be present as leaf blight, top die-back, or stalk rot. Unlike other corn stalk rots, anthracnose exhibits distinctive black blotches in the rind tissue. If weather conditions are favorable for continued development of the disease (high moisture and moderate temperatures), plants become susceptible to the "top-dieback" and stalk rot disease phases later in the season. with heavy anthracnose stalk rot pressure, it is common to observe that a portion of the plant above the ear dies prematurely while the lower plant remains green. Fruits and vegetables may develop dark, sunken lesions along the stems or on the fruit. The fungus is favored by wet, warm weather and overwinters in corn residue. Signs of the disease will be observed four to six weeks following pollination. Detection of anthracnose at the seedling stage should alert scouts to watch for the disease later in the season. Rain splashing can carry spores from blighted leaves and corn debris. The inter nodal region will be greatly affected. Anthracnose stalk rot of corn can lead to reduced ear development. Disease Development Anthracnose is caused by the fungus Colletotirchum graminicola which overwinters on corn residue. Anthracnose Stalk Rot Symptoms. Anthracnose stalk rot is the most common type of stalk rot and is caused by the fungus Colletotrichum graminicola. Spotting will continue to darken to a black color and may take over entire leaf or branch surfaces. Infection of the corn plant by the fungus results in anthracnose leaf blight, top dieback and/or stalk rot. Closely monitor fields with leaf blight should conditions favor development of the stalk rot phase of anthracnose. The plant portion, which is present above the ear, will wither. It is seen initially in the rind tissue as narrow, vertical or oval-shaped lesions. Earlier this growing season, anthracnose leaf blight was prevalent in many cornfields in Iowa. Anthracnose, caused by the fungus Colletotrichum graminicola, has been discovered in some local corn fields.In particular, fields that had stress earlier in the season and have currently been … Anthracnose can also cause basal rot in grass, causing the roots to rot away and die off. Anthracnose Leaf Blight and Stalk Rot of Corn . This symptom, known as top die-back, may appear as early as 1 to 3 weeks after tasseling (Figure 2).1 As the stalk rot phase progresses, the Conditions favoring this disease include warm humid weather especially when corn follows corn. It gets so fragile that it can even be broken using the … Anthracnose top dieback and stalk rot Anthracnose is caused by the fungus, Colletotrichum graminicola. Disease Development Anthracnose is caused by the fungus Colletotirchum graminicola which overwinters on corn residue.