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Post Harvest Diseases:: Vegetables:: Tomato

Anthracnose: Colletotrichum coccoides, C. gloeosporoides, C. dematium
  • Ripe to overripe fruit - can cause serious lossesS
  • Fruit infection - during green stages but disease develop. ripening.
  • Small lesions are circular & depressed-enlarge to greater than 12 mm in dia with zonate markings.
  • Lesion surface may appear salmon-colored due to spore production and be dotted with black specks
  • Infected fruit have a short shelf life.
Circular and depressed leisons Enlarged leisons Sporulation Black specks

Identification of pathogen:


  • Colonies - darkly pigmented with white aerial mycelium, consisting of numerous black sclerotia 
  • Sclerotia - setose, spherical 
  • Conidia - straight, fusiform, attenuated at the ends
  • Appressoria - clavate, brown, variable in shape

Favourable condition:

  • Opt temp- 28 to 32°C
  • Remain latent in green fruits until fruits approach ripening stage
  • RH-85 to100%

Spread and survival:

  • Persist on alternate hosts, crop debris & some weeds
  • Alternate hosts - solanaceous crops (potato, eggplant),cucurbits & soybean
  • Fungus is also seed-borne
  • Spores are usually dispersed by splashing rain
  • Fruits - near the soil surface are most likely to become infected
  • Overhead irrigation - favor development of anthracnose because of RH & increased duration of leaf wetness


  • Crop rotation with non-host crops and avoid potato, soybean, eggplant & cucurbit
  • Stake plants to improve air circulation and to reduce leaf and fruit wetness
  • Mulch to reduce soil splash onto fruit and lower leaves
  • Minimize or avoid overhead irrigation to reduce periods of wetness on fruit
  • Hot water treatment - at 50°C for 25 min
  • Following treatment, plunge the hot seeds into cold water, dry on paper, and dust with thiram 

Content validator:
Dr. M. Deivamani, Assistant Professor, Horticulture Research Station, Yercaud-636602.

Source of Images:

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