Bean Anthracnose

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Cornell.gifBean anthracnose, caused by the fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, is a major disease of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), causing serious crop loss in many parts of the world. In 1921, M. F. Barrus of Cornell University demonstrated that bean anthracnose is seedborne. This information resulted in the widespread use of anthracnose-free seed and a subsequent decline in the ocurrance of bean anthracnose in the United States. In bean-growing areas that receive frequent rainfall, however, such as central and western New York State, epidemics of the disease may develop. Production is reduced because of poor seed germination, poor seedling vigor, and low yields. Marketing losses are atributed to seed spots and blemishes, which lower their quality rating and salability. The disease is common and severe on dry and snap beans (P. vulgaris) but may also affect lima bean (P. lanatus L.), scarlet runner bean (P. multiflorus Willd.), mung bean (P. aureus Roxb.), cowpea (Vigna sinensis Savi.) and broad bean (Vicia faba L.).

Helene R. Dillard
Cornell University Cooperative Extension