An in-depth look at the Corn-Colletotrichum graminicola (causal organism of anthracnose) pathosystem

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2013-12-04
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Robertson, Alison
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Proceedings of the Integrated Crop Management Conference
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The Iowa State University Integrated Crop Management Conference is Iowa's premier crop production education event. No other program in Iowa brings together the diverse range of topics, slate of expert presenters and results of the latest University research.

The ICM Conference offers workshops focusing on the latest in crop production technology. Experts from Iowa and surrounding states will provide research updates and results in soil fertility, soil and water management, crop production and pest management.

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A pathosystem is an ecosystem in which parasitism occurs. Parasitism of corn by Colletotrichum graminicola results in anthracnose, an important disease of corn. The disease has three distinct phases: 1. Anthracnose leaf blight that usually occurs between V2 and V12; 2. Anthracnose top dieback that usually occurs from R4 onwards; and 3. Anthracnose stalk rot that is usually prevalent around physiological maturity. Colletotrichum graminicola was not considered an economically important pathogen of corn until the early 1970s. Today it seems like almost every cornfield has plants infected with the pathogen.

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