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2014

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND


CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES
Authors
Ravi Shankar, Seema Harsha, Raj Bhandary

R & D department
TROPICA SEEDS PVT LTD | No 54,
South End Road, 1st Floor, Nama
Aurore Building, Basavangudi,
Bangalore 560004 INDIA

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Key aspects covered


Disease Diagnosis and
Identification
Cultural aspects of
disease control
Biological aspects of
disease control
Chemical aspects of
disease control

Tropica seeds pvt ltd

Page

Global research local roots

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES


PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE
This guide outlines the key issues that should be considered in relation to the Diagnosis and Identification of pepper diseases and also Integrated Disease
Management (IDM) for Pepper crops. The guide addresses the key control methods and their rating in an IDM system for the major disease from Fungi, Bacteria,
virus, and nematode, and it also covers non infectious diseases.
The guide is useful for research scientists, field assistants, marketing personnel and farmers.
CONTACT US
Phone: +9180267660/79
Email: info@tropicaseeds.com
Web: www.tropicaseeds.com

Disclaimer
This publication may be of assistance to you but Tropica seeds and its employees
do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate
for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other
Consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.

TROPICA SEEDS PVT LTD


No 54, South End Road, 1st Floor,
NamaAurore Building,
Basavangudi, Bangalore 560004
INDIA

Page

II

Global Research Local Roots

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Contents

Page no.

Plant disease diagnosis


Plant disease management

1-2
3

Bacterial diseases
4
Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria
5
Ralstonia solanacearum
Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis 6

Fungal diseases
Colletotrichum gloeosporioides
Cercospora capsici
Choanephora cucurbitarum
Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. capsici
Fusarium solani
Stemphylium solani
Botrytis cinerea
Phytophthora capsici
Leveillula taurica
Sclerotium rolfsii
Verticillium spp
Sclerotinia sclerotiorum

7
8
9
10
11
12
14
15
16
17

Abiotic diseases
Blossom-end rot
Sunscald

Deficiency of calcium in fruit


Exposure of fruit to sunlight and heat

28
29

18

ReferencesMeloidogyne incognita

20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27

13

Nematodes, parasitic
Root knot

Alfalfa mosaic
Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV)
Beet curly top
Beet curly top virus (BCTV)
Chili leaf curl
Tobacco leaf curl virus (TLCV)
Cucumber mosaic
Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV)
Potato virus Y
Potato virus Y (PVY)
Tobacco etch
Tobacco etch virus (TEV)
Tobacco mosaic and Tomato mosaic Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)
Tomato spotted wilt
Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV)

30

19

III

Anthracnose
Cercospora (frogeye) leaf spot
Choanephora blight (wet rot)
Fusarium wilt
Fusarium stem and root rot
Gray leaf spot
Gray mold
Phytophthora blight
Powdery mildew
Southern blight
Verticillium wilt
White mold

Viral diseases

Page

Bacterial spot
Bacterial wilt
Bacterial canker

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Plant Disease Diagnosis

This article presents the various steps/activities which are associated with
accurate plant disease diagnosis. The process may vary with different diseases and
conditions but the overall process is relatively consistent. The steps all require
careful observations and questions. The steps include:
Know what Normal is
Proper plant identification. Identification of affected plants is one of the first
steps in diagnosing a plant disease. Both scientific and common names of the plant
should be noted.
Recognize healthy plant appearance. It is important to know the normal
appearance of the plant species you are investigating. Each plant species has

Check for Symptoms and Signs


Identify characteristic symptoms. Describing the characteristic symptoms
exhibited by a specimen can be very difficult to do accurately. Because of this, it is
often difficult, if not impossible, to determine what is wrong with a plant when a
person is describing symptoms over the phone.
Underdevelopment of tissues or organs. Examples include such
symptoms as stunting of plants, shortened internodes, and inadequate
development of roots, malformation of leaves, inadequate production of
chlorophyll and other pigments, and failure of fruits and flowers to develop.
Overdevelopment of tissues or organs. Examples include: galls on roots,
stems, or leaves, witches' brooms, and profuse flowering.
Necrosis or death of plant parts. These may be some of the most
noticeable symptoms, especially when they affect the entire plant, such as
wilts or diebacks. Other examples include shoot or leaf blights, leaf spots,
and fruit rots.
Alteration of normal appearance. Examples include mosaic patterns of
light and dark green on leaves, and altered coloration in leaves and flowers.
Identify symptom variability. Variations in symptoms expressed by diseased
plants may lead to an improper diagnosis. These variations can result from a
couple of factors. It is possible that there is more than one problem present, and in
some cases there may be more than one pathogen infecting a plant. Symptoms
associated with these infected plants may be significantly different from the
symptoms expressed in response to each of the different pathogens acting
separately
Look for signs of biotic causal agents. Signs of plant disease agents are the
observable evidence of the actual disease-causing agent. Signs may include the
mycelia of a fungal agent, fungal spores, and spore-producing bodies. Indications of
insects causing problems may include the actual insect, insect frass, mite webbing,
and insect eggs. Signs are much more specific to disease-causing agents than are
symptoms and are extremely useful in the diagnosis of a disease and identification
of the agent causing the disease. The use of a hand lens and a knife can be valuable
for a diagnostician in the field.

Often, plant pathologists have to rely on symptoms for the identification of a


disease problem. Because similar symptoms can be produced in response to
different causal agents, the use of symptoms alone is often an inadequate method
for disease identification. The identification of the disease-causing agent may take
a week or more. One needs to ask many questions related, in order to eliminate or
identify possible causes of the problem. He also needs to consider various
environmental and cultural factors. As a result of his questions and observations he
may:
Be able to identify a disease and disease-causing agent,
Be able to narrow the problem down to several possibilities which will
require further study in the laboratory before he can make a final diagnosis,
or
Be completely baffled by the problem.

special growth habits, colours and growth rates. If you do not know what to expect
of the plant you cannot recognize when something is wrong.

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The diagnostician must have very good observation skills, and he or she also
needs to be a good detective. It is important to keep an open mind until all of
the facts related to the problem can be collected. The possibility of multiple
causal factors must also be considered. Control measures depend on proper
identification of diseases and of the causal agents. Therefore, diagnosis is one
of the most important aspects of a plant pathologist's training. Without
proper identification of the disease and the disease-causing agent, disease
control measures can be a waste of time and money and can lead to further
plant losses. Proper disease diagnosis is therefore vital.

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Check for host specificity. Is the problem occurring in only one plant species or
are different plant species affected? If different plant species are affected, this
suggests the possibility of a non-infectious problem which could be related to
cultural or environmental problems. However, Phytophthora and Pythium root
rots can cause problems on many different plant species; therefore, the fact that
more than one plant species is affected does not completely eliminate infectious
agents. If there is more than one species of plant involved, are these plants closely
related and can they be infected by a common pathogen?
Laboratory Tests
Sometimes neither symptoms nor signs provide enough specific or characteristic
information to decide the cause of an infectious plant disease. In such cases, it may
be necessary to bring a sample back to the laboratory for further tests to isolate
and identify the causal agent.
Incubation of plant material. One of the first steps when getting back to the
laboratory may be to place a sample of the diseased tissue under conditions that
will allow an infectious agent to grow and possibly induce sporulation. This can be
accomplished by placing a leaf in a moist chamber. A moist chamber can be a

Diagnostic tests for identification of biotic causal agents. A major problem in


identification of biotic causal agents is the inability of some infectious pathogens to
grow on artificial media. Viruses, as well as some fungi (e.g. powdery and downy
mildew causing agents) and some prokaryotes (e.g. phytoplasmas), require a living
host in order to grow. In cases where the plant pathogen is difficult or impossible
to grow on artificial media, other methods may be used for their detection, such as
the use of serological tests for viruses. Viral identification is often accomplished
utilizing ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) which is based on the
binding of an antibody produced to a specific virus with the virus in the infected
plant material1. More tests are currently being developed using the polymerase
chain reaction (PCR) for detection of specific organisms. These types of reactions
take specialized equipment and reagents, and the tests are not commonly done
outside diagnostic and research laboratories. Other techniques used for the
identification of viruses include negative staining and electron microscopy to view
the viral particles in plant tissue or suspensions.

Check distribution of symptoms. One of the first things that a diagnostician


should note is how the diseased plants are distributed over the affected area. Are
they distributed uniformly across an area or are they localized? Is there a definite
pattern to the distribution? For example, does it occur only along the edges of a
greenhouse near open windows, next to roadways or driveways, in low spots of a
field, along a planted row, or is it affecting plants at random in a field? This
distribution can be especially important in looking at the possibility of noninfectious problems, such as improper herbicide use or various soil factors. A
uniform pattern on an individual plant and uniform damage patterns over a large
area are generally not associated with biotic agents, but are usually due to abiotic
agents.

Isolation and identification of biotic plant disease causal agents. Isolation of


fungi usually requires that pieces of infected plant tissue be placed on various
nutrient media. The organism that grows out of this tissue is then isolated in pure
culture. Bacteria are often isolated by chopping up infected tissue in a small
amount of sterile water. This water: bacteria suspension is then streaked onto a
bacteriological medium such as nutrient agar. Several problems can occur when
trying to isolate the plant pathogenic agent. The infected plant tissue may contain
one or more saprophytes which have moved into the infected tissue. These
saprophytes may outgrow the plant pathogen on the nutrient medium, obstructing
accurate identification of the pathogen. In some cases where a specific plant
pathogen is suspected, a medium selective for the suspected pathogen may be
utilized. It is also beneficial to attempt to isolate the plant pathogen from the
margins of the diseased tissue where the pathogen is more numerous or more
active than saprophytes that quickly colonize the recently killed tissue.

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Identify Plant Part Affected - Are symptoms associated with specific plant
parts?
It is important to note if the symptoms observed are associated with specific plant
parts. For example, is a wilt observed correlated with a disruption of the vascular
system which may be indicated by browning of the vascular system or are the roots
of the plants abnormal including rots, decreased feeder roots, etc.; are necrotic
lesions observed strictly on younger leaves? The symptoms of some diseases are
most commonly seen on specific plant parts and this observation can be important
in diagnosis.

sterile petri dish containing a wet filter paper in the bottom of the dish and a
triangle of glass tubing on which the sample is placed so that the sample is not
directly on the wet filter paper but is exposed to humid conditions. This type of
moist chamber will work for small and relatively flat specimens such as leaves.
Plastic bags or boxes may be necessary for larger specimens. Saprophytes that are
present on the specimen can also be encouraged to grow in a moist chamber and a
brief surface swab with 70% isopropanol or 0.1-1% sodium hypochlorite may be
useful in reducing these saprophytes. Moist chambers are generally incubated at
room temperature.

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

EXCLUSION
This principle is defined as any measure that prevents the introduction of a
disease-causing agent (pathogen) into a region, farm, or planting. The basic
strategy assumes that most pathogens can travel only short distances without the
aid of some other agent such as humans or other vector, and that natural barriers
like oceans, deserts, and mountains create obstacles to their natural spread.

RESISTANCE
Use of disease-resistant plants is the ideal method to manage plant diseases, if
plants of satisfactory quality and adapted to the growing region with adequate
levels of durable resistance are available. The use of disease-resistant plants
eliminates the need for additional efforts to reduce disease losses unless other
diseases are additionally present.

ERADICATION
This principle aims at eliminating a pathogen after it is introduced into an area but
before it has become well established or widely spread. It can be applied to
individual plants, seed lots, fields or regions but generally is not effective over large
geographic areas.

INTEGRATED DISEASE MANAGEMENT


Integrated Disease Management (IDM) is a concept derived from the successful
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems developed by entomologists for insect
and mite control. In most cases IDM consists of scouting with timely application of
a combination of strategies and tactics. These may include site selection and
preparation, utilizing resistant cultivars, altering planting practices, modifying the
environment by drainage, irrigation, pruning, thinning, shading, etc., and applying
pesticides, if necessary. But in addition to these traditional measures, monitoring
environmental factors (temperature, moisture, soil pH, nutrients, etc.), disease
forecasting, and establishing economic thresholds are important to the
management scheme.

The goal of plant disease management is to reduce the economic and aesthetic
damage caused by plant diseases. Specific management programs for specific
diseases are not intended since these will often vary depending on circumstances
of the crop, its location, disease severity, regulations and other factors. Plant
disease management practices rely on anticipating occurrence of disease and
attacking vulnerable points in the disease cycle (i.e., weak links in the infection
chain). Therefore, correct diagnosis of a disease is necessary to identify the
pathogen, which is the real target of any disease management program.

PROTECTION
This principle depends on establishing a barrier between the pathogen and the
host plant or the susceptible part of the host plant. It is usually thought of as a
chemical barrier, e.g., a fungicide, bactericide or nematicide, but it can also be a
physical, spatial, or temporal barrier. The specific strategies employed assume that

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The many strategies, tactics and techniques used in disease management can be
grouped under one or more very broad principles of action. Included four general
disease control principles, exclusion,eradication, protection&Immunization(the
latter principle is more appropriately called resistance since plants do not have an
immune system)

pathogens are present and that infection will occur without the intervention of
protective measures.
Many cultural practices can be modified to manage the occurrence, intensity or
severity of plant diseases. These include selection of suitable growing sites for the
crop, adequate tillage to bury pathogen-infested plant residues, rotation to non
susceptible crops, selecting pathogen-free planting stocks, orientation of plantings
to improve exposure to sun and air currents, pruning and thinning to eliminate
sources of infection and improve aeration in and around susceptible plants, water
management on both plants and in soil, adequate nutrition, proper cultivation to
improve root growth and avoid plant injury, and sanitation procedures to eliminate
sources of inoculum.
Biological control involves the use of one living organism to control another, and
this management technology has received much attention in recent times. However,
the number of biological agents registered for use is relatively small, success has
been limited, and application has been largely restricted to intensively managed,
high value crops such as greenhouse plants.

Plant Disease Management

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Bacterial spot of pepper


Causal organism: Xanthomonas campestris pv.
Vesicatoria

Cultural and Biological control


measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

Xanthomonas is seed-borne on
the seed surface and within
the seed. Infected seed and
transplants moved over long
distances can be the initial
source of inoculum for
epidemics. The bacterium also
survives in crop debris,
volunteer plants and in
solanaceous
weeds.
High
relative humidity and heavy
dew formation on leaves,
together with warm weather,
favour
infection
and
development of Bacterial Spot.
The bacterium is readily
water-splashed from infected
Transplants or debris to
healthy plants. Fruit are
infected
through
growth
cracks,
abrasions,
insect
punctures and other wounds.
Secondary fruit rots often
develop around Bacterial Spot
lesions during damp weather.

Use pathogen-free seeds and


transplants.
Use sodium hypochlorite-treated
seed
to
reduce
bacterial
populations.
Practice crop rotation with nonhost plants such as corn and
soybean so that peppers are
grown only every 3 to 4 years.
However, do not use soybeans in
the rotation if white mold
(Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) has
been a problem. Deep plow to
bury infected crop debris. Avoid
working in the field when foliage
is wet.
Eliminate wild host plants such
as nightshade and ground cherry
in and around field.

Dosage(g
PHI
or ml/litre) (days)

Remarks

Copper hydroxide
(kocide)

2g/litre

7-10 day interval


application

Copper sulphate
(cuproxat)

2g/litre

5-10 day interval; a tank


mix with mancozeb will
give added control

Streptomycin
sulphate+ tetracyclin
hydrochloride
(agrimycin)
Mancozeb
(Dithane M-45)

6g/10 litre

15

3g/litre

10

Should be used on
younger stage of the crop
growth, do not use
during fruiting stage
Used as a protectant

Cuprous oxide
(Nordox)

2g/litre

7-10 day interval

Note:
1. Copper fungicides should not be used at flowering stage in
solanaceous crops.
2. Before using combination sprays, please check the label of the
product

Characteristic bacterial spot symptoms can


appear on the leaves, fruits, stem, and
petioles. On leaves, symptoms begin as
small, yellow-green circular lesions
surrounded by a yellowish halo. These
spots appear water-soaked under wet
conditions. As the lesions mature, a general
yellowing extending from the area around
the lesions develops on diseased leaves
and the center of the spots become brown
to black and sunken. Tissue in the center of
the lesion often dries and breaks away,
giving a "shot-hole" appearance to the leaf.
When spots are numerous, they may join
together and form irregular discolored
streaks along the veins and leaf margins.
Edges and tips of leaves may die, then dry
and break away, causing leaves to appear
ragged. Severely spotted leaves turn yellow
or brown and fall from the plant; young
leaves can be distorted. Fruit spots begin as
green, circular, slightly raised lesions
which eventually become brown or dark,
raised, and about 1/8 inch in diameter.
Centers of the spots become necrotic,
corky, and scab-like

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Bacterial wilt of Peppers


Causal organism: Ralstonia solanacearum

Cultural and Biological control


measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

The bacterium is soil-borne and


waterborne and can survive on
diseased plant debris. It enters the
plant through wounds on the roots
due to cultivation, insect or
nematode feeding and emergence
of lateral roots.
High temperatures (30-35C) and
high soil moisture favour disease
development.
The disease is common in heavy
soils and in low-lying areas that
can retain soil moisture for long
periods.
The bacteria is spread by furrow
irrigation or surface water,
cultivation,
transplanting,
wounding and pruning.
It is
spread from one field to another
through infested soil transported
with seedlings or with farm
implements.

Avoid planting in contaminated land


or areas with previous history of high
BW incidence.
Remove wilted plants including roots
as soon as symptoms are observed to
minimize spread of disease from plant
to plant.

Dosage(g or
ml/litre)

PHI

Remarks

Streptomycin sulphate+
tetracyclin hydrochloride
(Agrimycin)

6g/10 litre

15

Should be used on
younger stage of the
crop growth, do not use
during fruiting stage

Copper oxychloride
(Blitox)

3g/litre

Used as soil drenching


at the root zone of the
plant

Eradicate weeds which may harbour


bacteria to reduce source of inoculum
Note:
in the field.
1.
Copper fungicides should not be used at flowering stage in solanaceous crops.
2.
Before using combination sprays, please check the label of the product
Seedtreatment with Pseudomonas
fluorescens at the rate of 4g/kg of seed
before sowing.
Seedling root dip with P.fluorescens
(10 g/litre of water) and planting in
green manure amended soil.
Crop rotation with maize-sorghumragi or maize-onion or garlic and rice.

Initial symptoms
of wilt
occur in younger leaves and
slight yellowing of older
leaves. The wilted leaves
maintain their green colour
and do not fall off as disease
progresses. Under conditions
favourable
to
the
disease Complete wilt occurs.
Wilting
and
death
is
accompanied by dark brown
internal discoloration of the
vascular elements.
White, milky strand of
bacterial
ooze
flows out when a freshly cut
section of infected stem base
is placed in water.

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Bacterial canker of Pepper


Causal organism: Clavibacter michiganensis
subsp. michiganensis

Cultural and Biological control


measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

The bacterium enters the plant


via wounds and stomata.
Clavibacter may be seedborne
and may infest the seed
externally or under the seed coat.
High relative humidity and
daytime temperatures between
25 and 30C (77 and 86F)
favor the disease. Dense plant
populations
and
overhead
irrigation also provide an ideal
environment to spread the
bacterium. Insects, tools, and
human contact may also aid
spread.

Sow only tested seed and


certified transplants.
Do not transplant peppers into
ground used for tomatoes
during the previous season.
Clean cultivation equipment
before entering a new field,
Avoid entering fields when
foliage is wet and incorporate
plant debris immediately after
harvest to help reduce losses.
Never harvest fruit from
symptomatic plants.
Rogue all symptomatic and
adjacent plants. Rotate to a nonhost for a minimum of three
years if the disease is found in a
field.

Streptomycin sulphate+
tetracycline hydrochloride
(agrimycin)
Copper oxychloride
(Blitox)

Dosage(g
or
ml/litre)
6g/10
litre

PHI

Remarks

15

3g/litre

Should be used on
younger stage of the crop
growth, do not use
during fruiting stage
Used as soil drenching at
the root zone of the plant

Note:
1.
Copper fungicides should not be used at flowering stage in
solanaceous crops.
2.
Before using combination sprays, please check the label of the product

Symptoms of bacterial canker in pepper


include leaf and fruit spots and, less
frequently, systemic wilt. In localized
infections, symptoms first appear as
small blisters or raised white spots on
leaves and stems. Later, the centres of
the leaf spots become brown and
necrotic, and develop a white halo. Stem
lesions often develop a crusty
appearance and elongate to form
cankers. Symptoms on fruit first appear
as very small, round, slightly raised
spots. These spots gradually increase in
size and may develop a brown centre
and a white halo. When these are
numerous, spots merge and take on a
crusty
appearance.
In
systemic
infections, a gradual wilting occurs.y
plant death.

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Anthracnose of Pepper
Causal organism: Colletotrichum capsici

The pathogen is soil-borne and


overwinters on plant debris from
infected crops and in other plant
species
Spores produced on foliage can
be carried through rain splashes
to the developing green fruit.
Although symptoms do not
appear until the fruit is ripening,
the infection actually occurs
when fruits are small and green.
Diseased fruit, foliage and stems
are
source
of
secondary
inoculum, which spreads from
plant to plant in the field.
The disease is favoured by
moderate temperature (20-24C)
and frequent rainfall.

Cultural and Biological control


measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

Dosage(g
PHI
or ml/litre) (days)
Plant only seed from disease- Mancozeb+carbendazim 2+1g/litre 3
freeplants or seed treated to reduce any (Dithane M-45+
fungal populations. Seed can be Bavistin)
disinfested with a 30-minute soak at
52C. Use only transplants free Pyraclostrobin (cabrio) 1g/litre
0
of disease symptoms.
Crop rotation Fields should be planted
with crops other than tomatoes,
eggplants, or other solanaceous crops
Chlorothalonil (kavach) 2g/litre
3
or strawberries, which are also hosts.
Apply overhead irrigation during the
early part of the day so that plants can
dry before sundown.
Azoxystrobin (amistar) 0.5ml/litre 0
In areas where market constraints and
other diseases do not limit the choice of
cultivar, cultivars demonstrating a
moderate level of resistance (e.g.,
Colossal, Brigadier, and Paladin) should
Trifloxystrobin+
1g/litre
3
be chosen.
Tebuconazole(nativo)

Remarks
Used as a protectant as
well as curative action

7-14 day interval; no


more than two
sequential application;
5-6 day interval as a
protective application
No more than two
application per season,
can be tank mixed
with protectant
fungicide
Used as curative
applicant

Note:
For mixing chemical always see the label of the product.

Circular or angular sunken


lesions develop on immature
fruit of any size. Often multiple
lesions form on individual fruit.
When disease is severe, lesions
may coalesce. Often pink to
orange masses of fungal spores
form in concentric rings
on the surface of the lesions. In
older lesions, black structures
called
acervuli
may
be
observed. With a hand lens,
these look like small black dots;
under a microscope they look
like tufts of tiny black hairs. The
pathogen forms spores quickly
and profusely and can spread
rapidly throughout a pepper
crop, resulting in up to 100%
yield loss. Lesions may also
appear on stems and leaves as
irregularly shaped brown spots
with dark brown edges

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Cercospora leaf spot


Causal organism: Cercospora capsici

Cultural and Biological control


measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

The fungus survives in or on seed,


and as tiny black fungal tissue known
as stromata in old affected leaves in
the soil. Spores will survive in
infected debris for at least one
season. Foliar infection occurs by
direct penetration of the leaf.
The fungus spores require water for
germination and penetration of the
host; however, heavy dew appears to
be sufficient for infection. The disease
is most severe during periods of
warm temperatures; for example, 20
25C during the day and excessive
moisture (either from rain or
overhead irrigation). Fungal growth
is limited if the temperature is < 5C
or > 35C.
The fungus is spread by Splashing
water, wind-driven rain, wind, on
implements, tools, workers, and by
leaf-to-leaf contact. It is not known
whether the fungus will infect
solanaceous weeds.

Use pathogen-free seeds and


seedlings. Remove and destroy
infected plants/fruits as soon as
symptoms are observed to minimize
spread of disease.
Avoid overhead irrigation or
prolonged moisture to minimize
disease severity.
Staking increases air movement and
may help reduce infection in the
field.
Remove and destroy infected
pepper tissues immediately after
harvest.
Crop rotation for 2 years may help
reduce inoculum in the soil.

Dosage(g
PHI
or ml/litre)

Remarks

Chlorothalonil
(kavach)

2g/litre

Can be used as a
protective application;
5-7 days interval

Mancozeb
(Dithane M-45)

2g/litre

Used as a protective
application; 5-7 days
interval

Copper hydroxide
(kocide)

2g/litre

Used as protective
application

Trifloxystrobin+
Tebuconazole
(nativo)

1g/litre

Used as curative
applicant

Note:
For mixing chemical always see the label of the product.

Circular spots appear with a


light gray center and a reddishbrown margin, growing up to 1
cm in diameter. Spots later
become tan with a dark ring and
a yellowish halo around the
ring, resulting in a frog-eye
appearance.
Under conditions of high
humidity, and using a good high
magnification hand lens, thin,
needle-like spores may be seen
in the center of the spots arising
from small black fungal tissue.
The affected centers of lesions
dry and often drop out as they
age. When numerous spots
occur on the foliage, the leaves
turn yellow and may drop or
wilt. Defoliation is often serious,
exposing fruits to sun scald.

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Choanephora Blight (Wet Rot)


Causal organism: Choanephora cucurbitarum

The fungus is found throughout the


tropics on many crops including
beans, peas, squash, cucumber,
eggplant and pepper. Extended
periods of rain, high humidity and
high temperature favor fungal
sporulation and disease development.
The fungus is spread via wind and
Whiskers of the fungus, which are splashing water, and on clothing, tools
fungal strands, with dark-colored, and cultivation equipment.
knobby sporangiola, can be seen with
a hand lens.
Morning is the best time to look for
the fungus. Symptoms may be
confused with Phytophthora blight
(Phytophthora capsici).

Remove and destroy infected


plants/fruits
as
soon
as
symptoms are observed to
minimize spread of disease.
Avoid overhead irrigation or
prolonged moisture to minimize
disease severity.
Staking increases air movement
and may help reduce infection in
the field.
Remove and destroy infected
pepper tissues immediately
after harvest.

Chemical control
Chemical name

Dosage(g
or ml/litre)

PHI

Remarks

Chlorothalonil(kavach)

2g/litre

Can be used as a
protective application;
5-7 days interval

Mancozeb
(Dithane M-45)

2g/litre

Used as a protective
application; 5-7 days
interval

Propineb
(Antracol)

2g/litre

5-7 days interval

Trifloxystrobin+
Tebuconazole
(nativo)

1g/litre

Used as curative
applicant

Myclobutanil
(Systhane)

1g/litre

14

Used as protective and


curative, not more than 4
application per season

Note:
For mixing chemical always see the label of the product.

Water soaked lesions appear on the


leaves and the margins and leaf tips
are blighted. Older lesions turn
necrotic and appear dried out. The
entire plant may wilt. Flowers and
flower buds turn dark and wilt.
Young fruit can be infected.

Conditions for disease development Cultural and Biological


control measures if any

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Fusarium wilt of pepper


Causal organism: Fusarium oxysporum f.sp capsici

Cultural and Biological control


measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

The fungus survives in the soil


for several years and is spread
by farm equipment, irrigation
water and infected plant
debris.
Warm
soil
temperatures (33 C; 92 F)
and high soil moisture
generally favour rapid disease
development.

Plant on raised beds to help promote Copper oxycloride


soil water drainage away from roots. (Blitox)
Thoroughly disinfect equipment before
moving from infested to clean fields.
Carbendazim
(Bavistin)

Dosage(g
PHI
or ml/litre)

Remarks

3g/litre

1g/litre

Used as drenching in the


soil; for large scale
application drenching is
not feasible.
Used as drenching in the
soil: for large scale
application drenching is
not feasible

Application of bio control agents like


Trichoderma viridae or Trichoderma
harzianum along with FYM at the time
planting( 1 kg mixed with 200 kg of FYM Note
1) For tank mixing of different chemicals see the label
for one acre of land)

2) Soil fumigation with effective materials is the only chemical control


available for reducing soil borne populations of the pathogen.
3) Various chemical (e.g. chloropicrin, dazomet, formaldehyde, metam
sodium) or non-chemical (e.g. steaming, solarization, bio fumigation)
methods can be used on infested soil. None are 100% effective and
they will only penetrate to a limited depth. Plants can still become
infected if the wilt pathogen is re-introduced into the treated area by
drainage / run-off water or capillary action, or by the roots growing
down beyond the treated soil.
4) Fungicide treatment against wilt diseases gives variable and often
poor results. For this reason there are few specific recommendations

10

Symptoms first appear as a slight


yellowing of foliage and wilting of
upper
leaves.
As
wilting
progresses, leaves may turn dullgreen to brown and remain
attached to the plant. When the
stem and roots are cut diagonally,
reddish-brown streaks are visible
in the vascular tissues.

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Fusarium stem and root rot


Causal organism: Fusarium solani
The perfect stage (Nectria haematococca)

Cultural and Biological control


measures if any

Soft, dark brown or black cankers


are formed on the stem, usually at
nodes or wound sites. These may
girdle the stem in later stages of
disease development. There is a
dark brown discolouration of the
internal portion of the stem that
may extend a considerable
distance.
The
lesions
may
eventually develop cinnamon or
light orange-coloured, very small
(<1 mm diameter), flask-shaped
fruiting structures known as
perithecia, which are the fruiting
bodies of the fungus Salmon-white
cottony-like growth representing
the imperfect stage of the fungus
and known as fungus mycelium
may also be present on the surface
of stem cankers in late stages of
disease
development.
Stem
cankers restrict the upward flow of
water resulting in wilting and
death of the plant.

The ascospore germination occurs


during prolonged periods of high
humidity (ie. greater than 95%).
A slow temperature increase early
in the morning of 1C per hour
ensures that fruit and stem
temperatures
reach
daytime
targets before sunrise. Also, if the
greenhouse
has
restricted
ventilation and poor drainage, this
may create a "wet" climate that N.
haematococca can exploit for
ascospore germination. Perithecia
present on rockwool blocks and on
fruit lesions provide further aerial
inoculum
which,
when
accompanied
by
a
"wet"
greenhouse climate, result in
numerous
fruit
and
stem
infections. Other factors, such as
over-watering of the rockwool
blocks, can stress the plants
through
oxygen
depletion,
resulting in a high incidence of
crown lesions.

Do not allow rockwool blocks to dry


out at the top because damaging
levels of evaporated fertilizer salts
may accumulate around the stem
base and thus favour infection.
Avoid dripping fertilizer solution at
the stem base by positioning the
dripper away from the stem base.
Avoid excessively high fertilizer
concentrations that contribute to
salt damage.
Avoid overlap of crop production
since the airborne spores of Nectria
haematococca could be spread from
the old crop to the early seeded
peppers.
Seedling root dip treatment of bio
control agents like Trichoderma
viridae or Trichoderma harzianum
during transplanting(10g/1litre of
water)

Chemical control not recommended since it is mainly restricted to


green house, so go for sanitation measures
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.

h.

i.
j.
k.
l.

Discard slabs, bags, cubes or other media that had infected plants growing in
them previously.
Do not replant into the same material unless it has been steam-sterilized.
Remove and discard strings that may harbour spores from affected plants.
If the crop was grown in soil, disinfect the beds.
Discard soilless growing media far away from the greenhouse or bury it.
Avoid handling diseased plants and fruit.
Remove them from the greenhouse carefully, taking care not to allow
contact of affected portions of plants with adjacent plants, and place
them in a plastic bag.
Discard the diseased material at a location away from the
greenhouses to ensure that this fungus inoculum or subsequent
overwintering spore inoculum is not carried back into the
greenhouses by workers, wind, on tires, and by insects such as shore
flies and fungus gnats. Additionally, remove about 1-2 plants on
either side of the plant(s) exhibiting symptoms and place in garbage
bags.
If the material is disposed of in a cull pile then ensure that the cull
pile is located away from the greenhouse as far as possible.
Cover the cull pile to prevent insects such as shore flies and fungus
gnats from carrying the fungus spores back into the greenhouses.
Alternatively, infected plant debris may be burnt or taken to a
landfill.
Do not leave it in an open field or incorporate it into the soil in fields
where other susceptible crops may be grown

11

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Gray leaf spot of Pepper


Causal organism: Stemphylium solani

Cultural and Biological control


measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

These fungi survive in soil and


on plant debris from one year to
the next. In addition, volunteer
pepper
and
tomato
and
solanaceous weeds can serve as
sources of inoculum. Fungal
spores are spread from the
surface of infected tissues by
wind and splashing water.
Warm and humid or wet
weather
generally
favour
disease
development.
The
disease also can be a problem in
arid climates when dew periods
are long.

Plant high quality transplants free from


gray leaf spot. Practice a three-year or
longer crop rotation to non-hosts such as
small grains.
Eliminate crop debris, volunteers, and
weeds that can serve as alternate hosts.
Reduce periods of leaf wetness by avoiding
overhead irrigation and dense plantings.
Orientating rows parallel to the prevailing
wind direction can promote rapid leaf
drying and help reduce periods of extended
leaf wetness.
Remove plant debris, provide adequate
ventilation for seedling beds and treat with
fungicides to help reduce losses from this
disease.

Dosage(g
PHI
or ml/litre)

Remarks

Chlorothalonil
(kavach)

2g/litre

Mancozeb
(Dithane M-45)

2g/litre

Propineb
(Antracol)

2g/litre

Can be used as a
protective application;
5-7 days interval
Used as a protective
application; 5-7 days
interval
5-7 days interval

Difenoconozole
(Score)

0.5ml/litre

10

Used as curative
fungicide

Copper hydroxide
(kocide)

2g/litre

Used as a protective
application

Tebuconazole
(Folicur)

1ml/litre

Used as a curative
application

Note
For tank mixing of different chemicals see the label.

12

Small spots develop on pepper


leaves,
petioles,
stems,
peduncles and calyx. Although
mature plants can be infected,
young seedlings are most
susceptible. Infection begins as
small red to brown spots that
later expand into lesions with
white to gray centers and red
to brown margins. When
numerous lesions develop,
leaves turn yellow and drop.
Gray leaf spot does not affect
fruit.

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Gray mold of pepper


Causal organism: Botrytis cinerea

This fungus has a wide host range. It is


an efficient saprophyte and can survive
as sclerotia in soil and infected plant
debris for long periods. Botrytis
cinereais considered a weak parasite
and typically infects plant tissues
through wounds. Overcast, cool, humid
weather is required for disease
development. Under these conditions,
gray masses of fungal spores are
produced and are readily winddisseminated. Close spacing andpoor
ventilation in greenhouses can lead to
severe gray mold problems.

Cultural and Biological


control measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

Prune plants to promote


adequate ventilation, and apply
Fungicides to the pruning
wounds to help reduce losses
from this disease. Carefully
manage irrigation and air
circulation to avoid long periods
of high relative humidity in
greenhouses.

Dosage(g
or
ml/litre)

PHI

Remarks

Iprodione+carbendazim
(quintal)

1g/litre

5-7 days interval; used as


protective and curative
application

Chlorothalonil
(kavach)

2g/litre

Can be used as a
protective application;
5-7 days interval

Pyraclostrobin
(Cabrio)

1g/litre

For disease suppression


only

Difenoconozole
(Score)

0.5ml/litre

10

Used as curative
fungicide

Copper hydroxide
(kocide)

2g/litre

Used as a protective
application

Pyrimethanil
(scala)

0.5ml/litre

Repeat applications at
7-14 day intervals

Note
For tank mixing of different chemicals see the label.

13

This fungus typically causes


damping-off or tip dieback in
young seedlings. However, it can
infect through wounds in all
above-ground parts of mature
plants. On stems, initial infection
appears as elliptical, water soaked
lesions that later expand, and can
girdle and kill the plant. Leaf
infections usually begin at points
of injury and develop into Vshaped lesions. Under high
humidity, stem and leaf lesions can
be covered by Sporulating gray
mycelia. Fruit infection begins as
water-soaked spots that increase
rapidly in size to form gray-brown
Sporulating lesions.

Conditions for disease development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Phytophthora blight
of Peppers
Causal organism: Phytophthora capsici

Cultural and Biological control


measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

The disease is favoured by


warm, wet weather and is
polycyclic within seasons.
The pathogen may survive as
overwintering spores in the
soil for many months and
serve as inoculum or in
infected plant tissues.
Fruits in contact with the soil
are most prone to infection.
Sporangia/spores are easily
dispersed by wind and rain
splashes to leaves and stems
of healthy plants.
Excess soil moisture due to
excess rain or irrigation, and
soil temperature of 18C
30C arising from high air
temperature are needed for
disease development.

Rotate away from susceptible crops


for a minimum of two years,
preferably four years. Grain crops
are most suitable (e.g., corn and
small grains) but crucifers are also
good options.
Avoid poorly drained soils and low
lying areas;
Do not allow soil build-up at the
headlands of fields but create
drainage
ditches
to
ensure
maximum soil-surface drainage
from furrows;
Break up hardpans and plow-pans
by subsoiling to increase soil
drainage;
Always plant peppers and bush-type
cucurbits on dome-shaped ridges
Avoid excessive overhead irrigation;
Enter infested fields last and clean
equipment before moving to other
fields;

Dosage(g
PHI
or ml/litre)

Remarks

Mancozeb
(Dithane M-45)

2g/litre

Used as a protective
application; 5-7 days
interval

Chlorothalonil
(kavach)

2g/litre

Can be used as a
protective application;
5-7 days interval

Propineb
(Antracol)

2g/litre

5-7 days interval

Dimethomorph
(Acrobat)

1g/litre

5-7 days interval , not


more than 3 application
per season

Metalaxyl+mancozeb
(Ridomil MZ gold)

2g/litre

14

Azoxystrobin
(Amistar)

0,5ml/litre

Protective and curative


application.5-7 days
interval
Used as a curative
application.

Note
For tank mixing of different chemicals see the label.

14

Symptom development in relation to


plant maturity. For example, seedlings
may die rapidly from lesions on the
lower stems while mature plants may
develop crown rot, fruit rot and foliar
lesions. The disease is most likely to
occur at the soil line or on the lower 12
to 18 inches of the plant where water
often pools or splashes. The most
common symptoms regardless of the
host plant are crown rot and fruit rot.
On peppers, the disease causes a black
lesion just above the soil line. Affected
plants wilt and progressively die
Foliar lesions are less common, but can
occur, especially when conditions are
particularly favorable. The classic
leaf lesion caused by P. capsici is fairly
circular with a tan margin and brown,
necrotic center. Fruit of known hosts are
highly susceptible to the disease, but
crown tissue susceptibility varies widely
among hosts.

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Powdery mildew of peppers


Causal organism: Leveillula taurica

Cultural and Biological


control measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

The fungus survives from season to


season on living pepper plants or
alternative hosts. Thefungus is not
found on or within pepper seed.
The disease is favoured when large
day/night
temperature
and
humidity fluctuations occur, which
promote periods of leaf wetness.
Development of L. taurica is
favoured by warm (25C) and dry
(less than 80% RH) days followed
by humid (greater than 85% RH)
nights. Temperatures of 25C are
associated with a higher rate of
disease
development
than
temperatures of 1820C. Young
plants are less susceptible than
older plants.
Other factors such as close plant
spacing and luxuriant plant growth
arising from high nitrogen levels are
likely to foster greater disease
development.

Restrict visitor access to the


greenhouse,
Follow
strict
greenhouse hygiene throughout
the growing season Conduct a
through year-end clean up and
dispose of all crop debris offsite or by burning or burying in
a landfill. For more information
consult
the
fact
sheet
Greenhouse Vegetable Crop
Clean-Up.
Control
outdoor
weeds
surrounding the greenhouse
Keep ornamentals and imported
tropical plants out of the
greenhouse and immediate area
Improve greenhouse climate to
reduce relative humidity and
increase air circulation

Dosage(g
PHI
or ml/litre)

Remarks

Wettable sulphur

3g/litre

Should not be used at


flowering stage

Dinocap
(karathane)

1ml/litre

Used as contact
fungicide, 5-7 days
application interval

Myclobutanil
(Systhane)

1g/litre

14

Fluzilazole
(nustar)

2ml/10litre

15

Used as curative
application, should not
be used at flowering
stage
For preventive
application apply once in
15 days

Carbendazim
(Bavistin)

1g/litre

Used as preventive and


curative application,
apply at 5 days interval

Note
For tank mixing of different chemicals see the label.

15

Pepper powdery mildew needs living


host plant tissue to grow and survive.
The fungus only infects the leaves not
the fruit or stems of pepper plants.
Check for pepper powdery mildew by
closely inspecting the underside of
older leaves for the first signs of the
disease. Look for fluffy, white patches
of powdery mildew on the underside
of leaves. With time, these patches
may turn brown rather than
remaining white. The upper surface
of the leaf may appear normal or have
diffuse, yellow patches which
correspond to the mildew colonies on
the lower surface. Early powdery
mildew infections can be seen more
easily by holding the leaf up to the
light and looking for developing
mildew colonies. Severely infected
leaves wither and drop off causing
plants to die.

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Southern blight of Pepper


Causal organism: Sclerotium rolfsii

Sclerotium rolfsii has a wide host


range. The fungus overwinters as
mycelium or sclerotia in and on
infected plant debris. Sclerotia can
survive in soil for many years. Rainfall
or irrigation following a period of
drought
generally
stimulates
germination of sclerotia and initiates
the infection process. High humidity
and warm temperatures generally
favour rapid fungal growth and disease
development. A soil pH between 3 and
5 is best for fungal growth. At a soil pH
of 7 or above, germination of sclerotia
is inhibited. Sclerotia spread short and
long distances in infected transplants,
plant debris, soil, surface water, and on
farm equipment and poor quality seed.

Cultural and Biological


control measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

Rotate with grasses and deepplow to bury sclerotia tohelp


reduce soil inoculum level.
Grow plants in raised beds to
promote soil drainage. In smallscale plantings, rogue infected
plants when symptoms are first
visible to reduce disease spread.
Soil fungicides and biological
control using Trichoderma spp.
and Gliocladium virensoffer
some protection.

Dosage(g
PHI
or ml/litre)

Remarks

Carbendazim
(Bavistin)

2g/litre

Used as drenching

Copper hydroxide
(kocide)

2g/litre

Used as drenching

Fluzilazole
(nustar)

2ml/10litre

15

For preventive
application apply once in
15 days

Tebuconazole
(Folicur)

1ml/litre

For preventive
application and curative

Note
For tank mixing of different chemicals see the label.

16

This fungus infects emerging


seedlings below or at the soil level
and causes damping-off.
Under favorable environmental
conditions, Sclerotium rolfsii is
able to infect any part of the plant.
The first symptoms of disease in
mature plants are dark-brown
lesions on the stem at or just
beneath the soil line. First foliar
symptoms
are
progressive
yellowing and wilting. Later, the
fungus produces fan-like webs of
whitish mycelium around the
rotted stem. Small brown sclerotia
form within the mycelial mass. As
the disease progresses, infected
plants wilt and die.

Conditions for disease development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Verticillium wilt of Pepper


Causal organism: Verticillium dhaliae

Cultural and Biological


control measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

Verticillium wilt, caused by


Verticillium dahliae, is a soil borne
fungus that colonizes the vascular
tissues of plants. Verticillium
dahliae has a broad host range,
causing vascular discoloration and
wilt
of
many
economically
important crops. Microsclerotia
produced by V. dahliae may
survive under field conditions for
up to 14 years in the absence of a
host. The microsclerotia germinate
in the vicinity of host roots and
cause infection. Verticillium wilt is
favoured by cool air and soil
temperatures.
Peppers
are
resistant to isolates of V. dahliae
from many hosts, and only certain
strains of V. dahliae, such as those
from eggplant and pepper, are
pathogenic on peppers.

Because of the longevity of


microsclerotia and the broad
host range of V. dahliae, crop
rotation is usually not a feasible
option
for
control
of
Verticillium wilt in many crops.
However,
rotations
with
broccoli, corn, wheat, barley,
sorghum or safflower for a
period of at least 2 years (the
longer the rotation, the better)
can reduce inoculum and
subsequent plant infection.
These crops are not hosts for
the Verticillium pathogen, and
populations of the pathogen will
decline in fields where host
plants are not present. In severe
cases, do not replant peppers in
the field for a minimum of 3
years.

Dosage(g
PHI
or ml/litre)

Remarks

Carbendazim(bavistin)

2g/litre

Used as drenching

Copper
hydroxide(kocide)

2g/litre

Used as drenching

Note
1) For tank mixing of different chemicals see the label
2) Soil fumigation with effective materials is the only chemical control
available for reducing soilborne populations of the pathogen.

3) Various chemical (e.g. chloropicrin,dazomet, formaldehyde,


metamsodium)or
non-chemical
(e.g.steaming,
solarization,
biofumigation)methods can be used on infested soil.None are 100%
effective and theywill only penetrate to a limited depth.Plants can still
become infected if thewilt pathogen is re-introduced into the treated
area by drainage / run-offwater or capillary action, or by theroots
growing down beyond thetreated soil.
4) Fungicide treatment against wiltdiseases gives variable and often
poorresults. For this reason there are fewspecific recommendations

17

Verticillium dahliae can infect pepper


plants at any growth stage. Symptoms
include yellowing and drooping of
leaves on a few branches or on the
entire plant. The edges of the leaves
roll inward on infected plants, and
foliar wilting ensues. The foliage of
severely infected plants turns brown
and dry. Growth of pepper plants
inoculated with aggressive strains of V.
dahliae in greenhouse or of pepper
plants infected early in the season
under field conditions is severely
stunted with small leaves that turn
yellow-green. Subsequently, the dried
leaves and shriveled fruits remain
attached to plants that die. Brown
discoloration of the vascular tissue is
visible when the roots and lower stem
of a wilted plant are cut longitudinally.

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

White mold of Peppers


Causal organism: Sclerotinia sclerotiorum

Cultural and Biological


control measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name

Plant
surfaces
must
remain
continuously wet for 48- 72 hours for
infection to occur. Disease develops
most rapidly at 20- 25C (68- 77F),
and not at all above 30C (86F).
This fungus has a wide host range and
survives from one season to the next
as sclerotia in soil and in plant debris.
White mold is most common in
temperate regions but is also known
to occur in hot, dry areas. Dew, fog
and frequent rain generally favour
disease development. The most
important means of longdistance
spread are airborne ascospores that
erupt
from
sclerotia.
Moving
contaminated soil and fertilizing with
manure from animals fed infected
plant debris are two common ways of
short-distance spread of sclerotia or
mycelium. Irrigation water may also
spread thefungus from field to field.

Plant in well-drained soil, use


wide row spacing and water
deeply, early in the day. Remove
all plant debris from previous
crops. Manure and plant
mulches suspected to come
from infected locations should
not be used unless sterilized.
Establish a crop rotation with
non-host crops such as corn,
small grains and grasses.
Soil fumigation can be effective
at helping to reduce soilborne
inoculum.

Dosage(g
PHI
or ml/litre)

Remarks

Carbendazim(Bavistin)

2g/litre

Used as drenching

Copper
hydroxide(kocide)

2g/litre

Used as drenching

Flusilazole(nustar)

2ml/10litre

15

For preventive
application apply once in
15 days

Tebuconazole (Folicur)

1ml/litre

For preventive
application and curative

Note
For tank mixing of different chemicals see the label

18

The first symptoms of white mold


are
dark-green,
water-soaked
lesions that develop on foliage,
stems and fruit. Occasionally, the
host may exhibit dry lesions on the
stalk, stem or branches with a welldefined border between healthy and
diseased tissues. Stem infections
frequently girdle the stem at the soil
line, causing plants to wilt and die.
Petiole or bud infections proceed
downward in the plant rapidly. Fruit
infected directly from the soil
surface or through the peduncle rot
quickly and turn into a watery mass.
In advanced stages, white, cottony
mycelium blankets affected tissue,
and sclerotia form on the surface.
Sclerotia also may form within the
stem pith and fruit cavities,
becoming black and hard as they
mature.

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Root knot of Pepper


Causal organism: Meloidogyne spp

Cultural and Biological control


measures if any

Chemical control
Chemical name
Dosage(g
or
ml/litre)

The host range of these


three nematode species is
very wide and includes
many agricultural crops
and weeds.
Disease is most severe in
warm areas with long
growing
seasons.
In
general, lighter, sandy
soils favour nematode
infection and result in
more severe damage to
roots.

In fields infested with root knot


nematodes, crop rotation may not be
feasible because of their extensive host
range; care is needed in the selection of
rotation crops because some may be
good alternate hosts. New resistant
varieties of peppers may prove useful.
Soil solarization may help to lower the
nematodes in the top layers of the soil
and avoid an early infestation of the
plants. Roots are likely to become
infested as the season progresses by
nematodes that survived in the deeper
soil layers.
Application of 2 kg of MULTIPLEX
Niyantran (Poaecilomyces) in 100 kg
FYM and broadcast to 1 acre uniformly.
Application of 250-400 kg of neem
cake/hac

Methyl bromide

PHI

Remarks

As a
fumigant

15

Oxamyl
(vydate)

2ml/litre

14

Carbofuron
(Furadan)

4kg/hac

30

Preplant, tarped, or
mulched for 24-48
hours. Application 10=14
days before planting.
Foliar applications are not
effective for moderate and
high populations of
nematodes.
Soil application,
application into soil before
planting.

Fenamiphos
(nemacure)

30L/hac or
1L/100
litre of
water

7 days
Soil application Apply
prior to anytime from 7 days
planting before up to the time of
planting.

Note
For tank mixing of different chemicals see the label

19

Nematode infestations damage the plant roots,


and therefore symptoms reflect poorly
functioning root systems. Aboveground
symptoms of severe root knot and stubby root
nematode infestations include patches of
chlorotic, stunted, necrotic, or wilted plants.
Nematode-infested plants are more susceptible
to moisture or temperature stress and exhibit
stress symptoms earlier than other plants.
Furthermore, root systems that have been
damaged by nematodes are often more
susceptible to infection by soil-inhabiting fungi
such as Fusarium and Verticillium species.
Feeding by root knot nematodes results in
characteristic galls on roots. Severely galled
roots may appear malformed and the root
system shortened and thickened. Roots of
plants infested with stubby root nematode are
likely to have numerous, short and stubby
lateral roots.

Conditions for disease


development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Alfa Alfa mosaic of Peppers


Causal organism:Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV)
Transmission: Aphids

Symptoms

Conditions for disease development

Control measures

The foliage has a distinct bright yellow to


white mosaic that sometimes causes large
areas of interveinal leaf tissue to be
bleached in appearance. Chlorotic line
patterns and veinal necrosis also may
occur. Generally, the leaves are not
distorted in shape. If infected when
young, the plants may be stunted and
their fruit will be misshapen.

Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) is found most commonly


in pepper crops that have been planted near alfalfa,
clover or other legumes. It is generally considered to
be a minor threat to pepper production.

Pepper varieties resistant to AMV are not available. Various control measures
are required because AMV is transmitted by seed, aphids, and mechanically.
Control measures must take into account the diseases wide host range (alfalfa,
pepper, tomato, tobacco, potato, clover, many cucurbits and beans, and several
other crops and weeds) and numerous aphid vectors.
Use virus-free pepper seed. Check transplants for any symptom development
and discard those with symptoms. Aphid control may be difficult because the
virus is transmitted very rapidly by these insects. Use fast acting insecticide
sprays since aphids may move to other nearby unsprayed plants when
disturbed.

20

Disinfect tools, stakes, and equipment before moving from diseased areas to
healthy areas. Work in diseased areas last, after working in unaffected parts of
a field. Other less effective measures include: planting barrier crops that are not
susceptible to AMV such as corn, applying sticky traps, or covering the ground
with an aphid deterrent material Another control strategy is to grow trap crops
nearby that attract aphids and then spray these plants with a contact
insecticide to destroy the aphid populations. Also, spray the pepper crop with
mineral oil to delay virus spread in the field by interfering with aphid
transmission of the virus.
Page

Transmission by seed is the primary means of


establishment of the virus while aphid transmission
is more important for the subsequent spread in field
plantings. AMV is transmitted by many species of
aphids including the green peach aphid,
Myzuspersicae. The aphid can acquire the virus by
feeding on an infected plant for less than a minute
and can transmit it as quickly, but the aphid actually
retains the virus for only a short period of time. The
virus is also readily transmitted mechanically and by
grafting.

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Beet curly top of peppers


Causal agent:Beet curly top virus (BCTV)
Transmission: The beet leafhopper (Circulifertenellus)
Symptoms

Conditions for disease development

control measures

Relatively common virus disease of tomatoes, peppers and


beans that mimics symptoms of moisture stress. Its called Curly
Top, and as the name implies, one of the symptoms is
curling leaves.When seedlings are infected, leaves turn yellow,
twist and curl upward, and thicken to become stiff and crisp.
Petioles may curl downward. Fruit set is reduced. Fruit appear
dull and wrinkled, and tend to ripen prematurely. This virus is
not mechanically transmitted.

This virus has a wide host range affecting more than 300
species. Common hosts are tomatoes, beets, peppers, squash,
beans, cucurbits, spinach, potatoes, cabbage and alfalfa. The
beet leafhopper transmits BCTV in a persistent manner.
Warm temperatures and dense leafhopper populations are
conducive to the spread of BCTV. Viruliferous leafhoppers
migrate seasonally and can be moved long distances by wind.

Transplant virus-free seedlings. Rogue infected


plants to avoid transmission in the field. Control
weeds near pepper fields to reduce vector and
virus reservoirs. Transplant early or late to
escape leafhopper infestations, increase plant
density to compensate for losses due to BCTV.
Insecticides are not effective to control beet curly
top.

Page

21

The best way to determine the difference between wilting from


lack of water and wilting from curly top virus is to simply
irrigate. Soak the soil around the distressed plant in the early
evening. Check the plant the following morning. If the plant has
not revived overnight, its likely the plant has curly top.

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Chili leaf curl


Causal agent: Tobacco leaf curl virus
Transmission: White flies

control measures

Symptoms consist of upward and downward curling of


leaves. Leaf margins develop pale green to yellow color,
which extends into the interveinal areas. The nodes and
internodes are significantly reduced in size. The infected
plants assume bushy appearance with severe stunted growth
look pale and produce more lateral branches giving a bushy
appearance. The fruits from infected plants are small and
deformed. It is a single stranded DNA virus

Field spread occurs due to Whitefly insect vector Cultural


(Bemisia tabaci). This disease increase with
1. Growing of nursery under Nylon net cover (50 mesh).
increase in temperature coupled with relative
2. Eradication of early infected plants and weed hosts from
humidity. The virus mainly perpetuates on weed
the field.
hosts. Warm and dry weather favors disease
3. Two rows of border cropping with Maize, Jowar, or Bajra
spread. In southern India the disease epidemics
give a reduction in the disease spread.
will be more during March to June, where as in Chemical control
Northern Indian conditions epidemics will occur
1. Spray seedlings with Acephate (0.15%)
from June to October.
or Monocrotophos (0.1%) prior to transplanting.
2. Spray insecticides like Monocrotophos (0.15%), Acephate
(0.15%), at fortnightly intervals after transplanting till
flowering stage.
3. Chemical spray followed by neem seed kernel extract
(2%) is also effective in rotation with insecticides.

22

Conditions for disease development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Cucumber mosaic on
peppers
Causal agent: cucumber mosaic virus

Conditions for disease development

control measures

Symptoms vary widely. One of the most common


expressions is a severely stunted, non-productive plant
that has dull light green foliage with a leathery
appearance but not distinctive foliar markings. In some
cases the leaves become narrow and no longer expand,
while in other cases, small necrotic specks or ring spots
with oak leaf patterns develop.
Sometimes a necrotic line develops across the leaf.
Affected leaves may drop prematurely. Older plants that
are infected may show foliar mottling or no symptoms on
foliage or fruit. Fruit may be wrinkled, bumpy, and pale to
yellowish green in colour, sometimes with sunken lesions.
On some varieties lines or ring spots may develop.

Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) is not


transmitted through pepper seed. CMV can be
mechanically transmitted but because it is not
as stable as TMV, workers handling infected
pepper plants do not as readily transmit it.

Current control measures for CMV are mainly preventive due to the
wide host range of the virus and the numerous aphid vectors.
Grow seedlings in a structure or seedbed protected with netting of mesh
size of 32 or greater to prevent aphids from entering.
Disinfect tools, stakes, and equipment before moving from diseased areas
to healthy areas. Hands and tools may be washed with soap or milk.
Insecticide sprays that are not fast-acting may not be that effective
because the aphids move to other nearby unsprayed plants when
disturbed.
Other less effective measures include: planting barrier crops that are not
susceptible to CMV such as corn, applying sticky traps, or covering the
ground with an aphid deterrent material Another control strategy is to
grow trap crops nearby that attract aphids and then spray these plants
with a contact insecticide to destroy the aphid populations.

More than 80 species of aphids including the


green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, are vector
of CMV; weeds are hosts for the virus as well as
for the aphid vectors. The large number of
aphid vector species and natural host
reservoirs accounts for the high incidence of
CMV in field plants.

Page

Symptoms

23

Transmission: Aphids

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

PVY on Peppers
Causal agent: Potato virus Y

Conditions for disease development

Control measures

Plants can be infected at any growth stage by virus


transmitting aphids.
Symptoms of potato virus Y (PVY) include plant
stunting, systemic vein-clearing, leaf mosaic or
mottling, and dark green vein-banding of the leaves.
Necrosis in the veins and petioles often develops. This
may be followed by stem necrosis and defoliation,
death of the top bud and plant death. Affected fruit may
be smaller, deformed, and with a mosaic pattern.
PVY symptoms may be masked by symptoms of other
viruses.

Many species of aphid, including the green


peach aphid, Myzus persicae, transmit the
virus at different degrees of efficiency. The
different aphid species can acquire the virus
by feeding on an infected plant for less than a
minute and can transmit it as quickly also.
The aphids will retain the virus for periods of
1 day or longer if the aphids do not feed after
acquiring the virus.
PVY infection in tomato and tobacco is an
important source of the virus for pepper.
Weeds may also act as a reservoir for the
virus in tropical regions.

Spray weeds bordering the field with an insecticide prior to seeding or


planting the field. This will prevent the aphids from moving to other plants
and infecting them when subsequent weed control is started. Destroy all
annual weeds in the field, including those in ditches, hedge or fencerows,
and other locations.
Where feasible, infected plants should be pulled up and destroyed, but only
after spraying them thoroughly with an insecticide to kill any insects they
may be harbouring.
Avoid planting peppers close to established tomato, tobacco, and pepper
fields since these fields may harbour aphids. Plant earlier to avoid high
aphid populations that occur later in the season. Reflective mulches may be
used to repel aphids, thereby reducing the rate of spread of aphid-borne
viruses.
The mineral oil sprays will reduce the frequency of transmission of the
virus by the vector and thereby delay development of the disease in the
pepper crop.

Page

Symptoms

24

Transmission: Aphids

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Tobacco etch on Peppers


Causal agent: Tobacco etch virus (TEV)

Conditions for disease development

control measures

All stages of plant growth are affected. The severity


of symptoms depends on time of infection, the
variety grown and the virus strain present. Affected
pepper plants show foliar mottling or mosaic
patterns, leaf distortion, and stunting. Vein-clearing
and vein-banding symptoms also occur.
Plants infected early have small, misshapen fruit
and can be severely stunted. Fruits from such
plants have severe mosaic symptoms. Tabasco
pepper infected with tobacco etch virus (TEV)
show root necrosis, wilting and death. Symptoms
may be confused with other viruses such as potato
virus Y (PVY) or pepper mottle virus (PMV).

TEV is transmitted by the green peach aphid,


Myzus persicae, and by several other aphid
species in a non persistent manner similar to
PVY. The virus is also readily transmitted
mechanically but transmission by aphids is
the principal method. It is not found in seeds.

Use a net house or screen house with 32-mesh or finer to keep out aphids and to
grow seedlings for transplant use.
Use virus-free transplants. Minimize plant handling during the growing season to
reduce the amount of virus spread mechanically.
Remove nearby volunteer plants and solanaceous weeds from production fields,
nearby ditch banks, hedges, fence-rows or other locations. Plant earlier to avoid
high aphid populations that occur later in the season. Mulches to reduce aphid visits
to plants and thus delay virus spread. This results in reduced virus incidence and
increased yields. Monitor aphid populations early in the season and apply fastacting insecticide treatments when needed.
The mineral oil sprays will reduce the frequency of transmission of the virus by the
vector and thereby delay development of the disease in the pepper crop

Page

Symptoms

25

Transmission: Aphids

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

TMV on Peppers
Causal agent: Tobacco mosaic virus

Conditions for disease development

control measures

Symptoms of infection by TMV and ToMV in pepper and


eggplant can vary greatly with the strain of virus, temperature,
light intensity, day length, age of the plant when infected and
cultivar. Foliar symptoms include chlorotic mosaic, distortion,
and at times, systemic necrosis and defoliation. Plants infected
as seedlings can be stunted and are generally chlorotic. Infected
plants produce disfigured fruit that are usually small with
distinct chlorotic and/or necrotic areas. Foliar symptoms of
TMV in pepper are also variable but are generally mild. Plants
infected as seedlings remain stunted. Leaves develop a subtle
mosaic, can be crinkled, and remain small. Symptoms may first
appear on fruit. Fruit can be mottled and necrotic, are usually
small and distorted and have a rough or wrinkled appearance.

TMV and ToMV have very wide host ranges and infect
over 200 plant species, including varieties of pepper,
tomato, eggplant and tobacco. TMV can infect all species
of pepper, but not tomato, tobacco or eggplant. Infected
transplants, seed and debris are common sources of
inoculum. These viruses can be found on and under the
seed coat and in the endosperm. Tobamo viruses are
very stable and extensive spread can occur through
handling, tools, trays, pots, stakes, twine and clothing, as
well as pollination, pruning and other cultural practices.
Tobamo viruses can remain viable for several years in
plant debris but lose their ability to infect as debris
decomposes.

Enforce strict sanitation practices during production and


harvest to minimize infection and prevent spread.
Restrict access to the crop, wash hands and equipment
with a soap solution between plants or rows of plants and
before entering a greenhouse.
There are reports of successful prevention of Tobamo
virus spread by coating hands, plants and equipment with
a solution of powdered non-fat milk.
Rogue symptomatic and adjacent plants and rotate to nonsolanaceous crops to manage disease. Use seed tested and
treated for Tobamo viruses. Many hot pepper varieties
contain hypersensitive resistance to TMV and ToMV. Use
resistant varieties in greenhouse production where
Tobamo viruses are a problem. Some strains of TMV may
overcome the commercial resistance.

Page

Symptoms

26

Transmission: Mechanical

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Tomato spotted wilt on Peppers


Causal agent: Tomato spotted wilt virus
Conditions for disease development

control measures

Plants infected while they are young


display severe stunting, yellowing or
chlorotic flecking of the whole plant,
and very little yield.
Leaves infected later may show
chlorotic line patterns or mosaic
with necrotic spots. Necrotic streaks
appear on stems extending to the
terminal shoots.
Fruit of infected plants may show
necrotic spots and streaks, mosaic,
and ring patterns. On ripe fruit,
yellow spots with concentric rings
or necrotic streaks may be present.

Thrips are the primary means of transmitting Tomato


Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV). Thrips are small, they
multiply quickly, feed on a wide range of plants, and are
constantly being blown into fields. Thrips feed on the
juices of leaves, stems, fruits and flower parts.
Feeding damage causes new growth to become
misshapen and deformed. The wingless immature thrips
acquire the virus and the more mobile adults later
transmit the virus among plants.
The life cycle of thrips varies from 7 to 14 days at
fluctuating
temperatures
between
2037C.
Consequently, there are multiple generations during the
growing season. TSWV may persist from year to year in
infected plants from which thrips can spread the disease
to nearby crops.

The presence of thrips in pepper fields can be monitored using yellow sticky cards. If the
disease appears in a crop, infected plants should be removed and destroyed immediately
either by burning or burying them.
Maintain seedbeds away from cropped areas and from other susceptible plants.
Remove volunteer plants and weeds from the production field and surrounding areas by
maintaining a 10-m plant-free border
Avoid sequential planting because thrips can continue to emerge from the soil for 23
weeks after crop residues are ploughed and roto-tilled. Keep infected field areas fallow for
3-4 weeks to allow thrips to emerge from crop debris and disperse from the field.
During the first stage of plant production, use a net house structure or seedbed covered
with a netting of 40-mesh or higher to exclude thrips from seedlings prior to
transplanting. Use virus free transplants.
Several insecticide applications should be made at 5-day intervals to significantly reduce
an infestation.

Page

Symptoms

27

Transmission: Thrips

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Blossom end rot of Pepper


Causal agent: Calcium deficiency

Blossom-end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency in the


developing fruit. This problem results from low levels of calcium in
the soil or from a lack of soil moisture. Uptake of calcium from the
soil depends on adequate moisture moving into the roots. Any
condition that reduces roots ability to absorb water, and hence,
take up calcium, can cause blossom-end rot. Heavy fertilization,
resulting in an accumulation of ammonium, potassium, sodium or
magnesium salts in the root zone, often increases the incidence of
blossom-end rot by reducing calcium uptake. Also, excessive
vegetative growth demands calcium, and may divert it away for the
fruit.

control measures
Applying lime or gypsum can provide calcium. Lime
corrects both low pH and low calcium levels, while
gypsum only affects calcium level.
Calcium chloride sprays applied to the foliage may help
prevent blossom-end rot on developing fruit. Calcium
chloride is applied at four pounds per 100 gallons/acre
four times on a weekly schedule, beginning when
symptoms first appear
Avoid excessive rates of ammonical nitrogen fertilizer.
Damage to the roots by deep cultivation should also be
avoided, especially after fruit set and in dry weather.

28

Blossom-end rot begins as a light-coloured area on the


blossom end of the fruit. The affected area enlarges
and darkens, sometimes involving up to half the fruit
surface.
On peppers, the rot is tan and may be mistaken for
sun scald. Sun scald, however, results in a bleached,
white area on the fruit. On bell pepper, the rot usually
occurs on the tip of the lobes. On pimento pepper, the
side of the pod near the tip is affected. Secondary fungi
may cause the tan area to turn dark.

Conditions for disease development

Page

Symptoms

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

Sunscald of Pepper

Conditions for disease development

Cultural and Biological control measures if any

Affected areas are straw-colored or white, soft, sunken, and


wrinkled. These dead areas form only on the side exposed to the
sun, in contrast to blossom end rot where the symptoms will
appear on unexposed areas as well.
The dead areas eventually become papery in texture, and may
become dark-colored if infection by secondary fungi occurs. Fruit
affected by sunscald is unmarketable

This occurs on fruit suddenly exposed to intense


sunlight at high temperatures and high humidities.
Sudden exposure may be due to loss of foliage cover,
defoliation, or prolonged wilting. Also, breakage of
branches due to rough handling during harvest or
from heavy rains may expose fruit to sunscald.

No resistant cultivars are available. Provide sufficient


nitrogen for healthy plant growth. Keep foliage
healthy by controlling diseases and insect pests. Also,
avoid drought stress. If feasible, provide support for
pepper plants by use of stakes or use of string
running along the rows, or wire running horizontally
along the beds. Growing under shade net.

Page

Symptoms

29

Causal agent: Environmental

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

References

Page

30

1. Vegetable diseases fact sheet, Edited by Tom Kalb. Photos by L.L. Black and E.L.Shannon. Published by AVRDC.
2. Vegetables 2014 final report. Plant Disease Diagnostic Center LSU/LSU AgCenter Department of Plant Pathology & Crop Physiology
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803.
3. Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers Illinois University of Illinois Extension Indiana.
4. K.Pernezny, P.D. Roberts, J.F. Murphy and N.P. Goldberg(eds.), Compendium of pepper diseases. American Phytopathological Society
Press, St. Paul, MN.

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL OF PEPPER DISEASES

"For better or for worse, plant pathology


had its genesis in fields and granaries
more than in halls of ivy. Society needed
agriculture and agriculture need plant
pathology."
"Plant pathology has helped reveal
profound and useful truths. It was among
the pioneers in revealing the vast and
variable world of microorganisms and in
identifying mans friends and foes
amongst them. It has shown how to
combat many of the bad ones and how to
utilize some of the good ones."

Page

31

E. C. Stakman. 1959