Alternaria brassicae

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Alternaria brassicae conidia
Author(s): Bruce Watt, University of Maine Source: IPM Images

Alternaria brassicae (Berk.) Sacc., 1880 - (dark leaf spot of Brassica)

The fungus is widely distributed and causes serious leaf and pod diseases on Brassica species. The diseases start as small, brown to black spots on leaves, stems and pods which enlarge. Leaf spots often show a pattern of concentric rings. Severe defoliation can follow and pods fail to develop and drop off. The fungus disperses through the air or with rain splashes. New infections occur through small wounds or stomata. It can survive between growing seasons in plant debris.


Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Rapsschwärze
• English: dark leaf spot of Brassica
• Français: alternariose du colza

The conidia are club-shaped, dark brown, multi-celled and tapering to a beak, which is approximately one half to one third of the total length. They are around 75-350 µm long (including the beak) and 20-30 µm wide. The species appears to be a monotypic lineage, rather than belonging to a group of species.

See also Alternaria brassicicola which causes similar diseases. In comparison, Alternaria brassicae prefers cooler temperatures and the conidia are clearly larger.