is a common and serious disease of tomato fruit. This disease can
occasionally cause severe damage to peppers, especially when red
fruit is allowed to develop. Anthracnose can reduce a bountiful
harvest into rotted fruit in a few days in warm, moist weather.
water-soaked, circular lesions develop under the skin of fruit as
it ripens, soon becoming sunken and dark. Numerous dark specks,
the fruiting bodies of the fungus, develop in the lesions in concentric
rings. In moist, warm weather, these black bodies ooze gelatinous
pink spore masses. In warm weather the fungus and soft rot bacteria
which enter the split skin over the lesions spread internally, forming
a semisoft decay which renders the fruit worthless.
coccodes survives between crops on infested plant debris in
the soil. Early in the growing season, spores from the soil splash
on lower leaves of the tomato plant. Few symptoms develop on infected
leaves, but the spores produced on foliage can be carried by splashing
rain to developing green fruit. Infected green fruit will not develop
symptoms of anthracnose until it begins to ripen. Ripe fruit is
very susceptible to this fungus.
Rotate 3 years between pepper and tomato crops.
Plant tomatoes and peppers in well drained fields to avoid excess
soil moisture as fruits ripen.
Apply overhead irrigation during the early part of the day so that
plants dry before sundown.
Harvest and use fruit before it fully ripens.
If conditions favor development of anthracnose, a preventative spray
program may be required to give adequate control of this disease.
Apply registered fungicides according to product label instructions
when weather conditions are above 65 degrees F and the foliage is
likely to remain wet longer than 6 hours. Applications to tomatoes
should begin when the first fruit is larger than a walnut. Applications
to peppers should be started as soon as fruit is present.
the Ohio State University Extension, 2000