Buckeye rot of tomato is caused by the fungus Phytophthora parasitica. The disease can result in large losses in the yield of harvestable fruit. The fungus also causes a fruit rot of pepper and eggplant.
The first symptom on the fruit is a grayish green or brown watersoaked spot that develops where the fruit touches the soil. Lesions that enlarge on the surface of infected fruit have a characteristic pattern of alternating light and dark brown concentric rings that resemble the markings on a buckeye (Fig. 1). Buckeye rot lesions have a smooth surface and lack a sharply defined margin. These features distinguish the disease from late blight (caused by Phytophthora infestans), which is characterized by lesions with a rough surface and a definite margin. In contrast with Pythium rot, which results in a soft, watery rot of the fruit, tomatoes with buckeye rot initially remain firm. Buckeye rot lesions may, however, be invaded by soft rot bacteria in the later stages of disease development.
Phytophthora parasitica can also cause damping-off of seedlings, stem cankers near the soil line, or leaf blight, but these symptoms are not as common as the fruit rot.
|Refer to the current Virginia Pest Management Guide for Home Grounds and Animals (VCE Publication 456-018), http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/456/456-018/456-018.html, for details on the proper use of pesticides.|
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; Jewel E. Hairston, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg.
May 1, 2009