Rhizoctonia solani

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Rhizoctonia solani symptoms on potato roots
Author(s): Gerald Holmes, Valent USA Corporation
Source: IPM Images

Rhizoctonia solani J.G. Kühn 1858

The fungus is very common, soil-borne and has a world-wide distribution. It infects many types of plants, causing rots, blights and other diseases of potatoes (black scurf and stem canker), soybeans (root and hypocotyl rot), cereals (crater disease of wheat, sheath blight, banded leaf of maize), vegetables, ornamentals, groundnuts (limb rot), or stored vegetables and fruits.

The black, hardened sclerotia (melanised hyphae) are the main durable stage of the fungus. These can survive in the soil for many years. The fungus does not produce asexual spores (conidia), but can form sexual spores (basidiospores) which disperse through the air and may be important for the disease development in certain crops.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Spitzer Augenfleck
Scharfer Augenfleck
Blattscheidendürre von Reis
• English: sharp eyespot
sheath blight of cereals
crater disease of wheat
rice sheath blight
black scurf of potato
potato black scurf
banded leaf of maize
hypocotyl rot of soybean
maize sheath blight
• Español: costra negra de la papa
• Français: rhizoctonie de la pomme de terre
fonte des semis du riz

Disease outbreaks commonly develop under warm and moist conditions. Although symptoms on roots are very common, leaves, fruits and other above-ground plant-parts may also develop symptoms.

Rhizoctonia solani f. sp. sasakii (the teleomorph Thanatephorus sasakii is used by some authors) causes sheath blight of rice.

Corticium sasakii
Thanatephorus cucumeris (teleomorph synonym)
Thanatephorus sasakii

For a review and management on soybeans see Ajayi-Oyetunde & Bradley (2018).