How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Angular Leaf Spot

Pathogen: Xanthomonas fragariae

(Reviewed 4/05, updated 4/05)

In this Guideline:


Infection first appears as minute, water-soaked spots on the lower surface of leaves. The lesions enlarge to form translucent, angular spots that are delineated by small veins and often exude a viscous ooze of bacteria and bacterial exudates, which appears as a whitish and scaly film after drying. As the disease progresses, lesions coalesce and reddish brown spots, which later become necrotic, appear on the upper surface of the leaves. A chlorotic halo usually surrounds the infected area.


This bacterium is not free living in soil. It can, however, overwinter in soil on previously infected plant material. Transmission is by splashing water. It is host-specific and highly resistant to degradation—it can persist in the soil for long periods of time. It is killed by methyl bromide/chloropicrin mixture used as a preplant fumigant, so it is very likely that most initial infections in fields that have been fumigated originate from contaminated plants. Lesions on the leaf surface serve as a source for secondary inoculum and cells are dispersed by splashing rain or overhead irrigation. The disease is favored by cool, moist days with cold nights near freezing.

Xanthomonas fragariae can cause vascular collapse, although this is uncommon in California. This symptom initially appears as a water-soaked area at the base of newly emerged leaves. Shortly after, the whole plant suddenly dies, much like plants infected with crown rot. Xanthomonas fragariae is also associated with strawberry blossom blight in California.

Angular leaf spot generally has a minor impact on fruit yields in California. However, it is a concern at strawberry nurseries, which may be subject to quarantine regulations for angular leaf spot on nursery stock for export.


Angular leaf spot is kept to a minimum by using certified planting materials. Chemical controls are typically ineffective against this pathogen. Copper-containing compounds are registered but have caused phytotoxicity with repeated applications. Rotate crops to avoid infesting fields, and avoid overhead irrigation when possible.

Organically Acceptable Methods

Using certified planting materials and rotating crops are acceptable management strategies for use in an organically grown crop.

More information on strawberry fungicides


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Strawberry
UC ANR Publication 3468


  • S. T. Koike, UC Cooperative Extension Monterey County
  • G. T. Browne, USDA Crops Pathology and Genetics, UC Davis
  • T. R. Gordon, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
Acknowledgment for contributions to Diseases:
  • W. D. Gubler, Plant Pathology, UC Davis

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