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UC Pest Management Guidelines

Alternaria leafspot lesions.

Cole Crops

Alternaria Leafspot

Pathogens: Alternaria brassicae, A. brassicicola

(Reviewed 6/07, updated 11/08)

In this Guideline:


The two Alternaria species, A. brassicae and A. brassicicola, cause similar symptoms;small, dark specks first develop on leaves and later enlarge into circular, tan spots (0.25-0.5 inch in diameter). The spots caused by A. brassicicola tend to be darker than those caused by A. brassicae. If conditions are favorable, dark green spores of the pathogen will grow on the spots. Such growth causes the spots to have concentric rings in them. Old leafspots become papery in texture and may tear. When the dry tissue falls out, a shothole effect results.


Alternaria leafspot is usually not an economic concern on cole crops. It occasionally is a problem on cabbage during cool, rainy months. The pathogen can also infect Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. Leafy crucifers that are harvested for their leaves (red mustard, Chinese cabbage, tat tsoi, and Mizuna mustard) are also susceptible to Alternaria brassicae and can be seriously damaged by this pathogen. Disease is favored by moist conditions. Spores are spread by winds and splashing water. The fungus does not survive in soil, but is carried over in crucifer seed, on weed or volunteer hosts, or on undecomposed crop residue.


Use clean seed and practice crop rotation. Fungicides applied as foliar sprays will control this disease.

Common name Amount/Acre R.E.I.+ P.H.I.+
(trade name)   (hours) (days)

Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
Bee precaution pesticide ratings
The following materials are listed in order of usefulness in an IPM Program. Also, consider information relating to environmental impact. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read label of product being used.
  (Rovral) 2 pt 24 0
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Dicarboximide (2)
  COMMENTS: For broccoli only. Apply immediately after thinning (2- to 4-leaf stage) as a directed spray to the base of the plant and adjacent soil surface.
  (various products) Label rates 12 7
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Multi-site contact (M5)
  COMMENTS: Use at 7- to 10-day intervals.
+ Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (P.H.I.) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
1 Group numbers are assigned by the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) according to different modes of actions (for more information, see http://www.frac.info/). Fungicides with a different group number are suitable to alternate in a resistance management program. For fungicides with mode of action Group numbers 1, 4, 9, 11, or 17, make no more than one application before rotating to a fungicide with a different mode of action Group number; for fungicides with other Group numbers, make no more than two consecutive applications before rotating to fungicide with a different mode of action Group number.



[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Cole Crops
UC ANR Publication 3442
S. T. Koike, UC Cooperative Extension, Monterey County
K. V. Subbarao, Plant Pathology,UC Davis, Salinas

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