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Gibberella Stalk Rot

© Purdue University, Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory

Pathogen(s) causing disease:

Gibberella zeae


Stalks that are split open have a disintegrated pith with pink discoloration. The vascular bundles will appear reddish in color. Small black specks develop on the stalk surface near the nodes and can be scraped off with fingernail


Warm, moist weather in late summer (2-3 weeks after silking). More prevalent when plants are subjected to stresses that result in early senescence and a reduction of sugar to roots and stalks. Insect injury.


Resistant hybrids. Full season hybrids tend to have more resistance than short season. Balanced soil fertility. Do not exceed recommended plant populations. Reduce plant stress. Control stalk-boring insects.


Purdue University
University of Illinois

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