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Leaf Blight

Botrytis squamosa

Pathogen

Fungus

Hosts

Onions

Symptoms

Initially appears as small oval or circular white leaf flecks, 1 – 5 mm in diameter, with greenish water-soaked margins. The centre of these lesions become straw coloured and sunken and as the disease continues to colonise the infected leaves they become blighted, shrivel until ultimately the whole leaf dies back. Leaf dieback can occur 5 – 12 days after the appearance of the first spots.

Development

Overwinters as sclerotia in the soil or crop debris. Given suitable conditions these release conidia which invade leaf wounds or damaged tissue. At least 6 hours of leaf wetness (with favourable temperatures) are required for successful infection to occur. Conidia released from established leaf lesions give rise to further spread and secondary outbreaks.

Favourable Factors

High rainfall and high humidity.

Importance

Prevalent in most onion growing areas particularly in the west of the UK. Can be a problem in salad onions where the quality of the foliage is important but less damaging to bulb onions or leeks. Host specific to Allium spp.

Control

Identification and Management of onion and leek diseases

Find out more information on the key disease threats to your onion and leek crop. For each disease you will find out the importance of the disease in terms of potential yield penalty, how to identify the disease in its early stages and our advice on the best control strategies.

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