UC IPM Online UC ANR home page UC IPM home page


SKIP navigation


How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Anthracnose causes water-soaked spots on the underside of the midrib.



Pathogen: Microdochium panattonianum

(Reviewed 8/07, updated 8/07)

In this Guideline:


Also known as shot hole or ring spot, anthracnose initially causes small (less than 0.125 inch or 3 mm), water-soaked spots on outer leaves. Spots enlarge, turn yellow, and are usually irregular and angular in shape. Under cool, moist conditions, white to pink spore masses of the fungus will be visible in the center of the lesions. If disease is severe, the lesions will coalesce and cause significant dieback of the leaf and in some cases result in stunting of the plant. As spots age, the affected tissue will dry up and become papery in texture. Eventually the centers of these spots will fall out, resulting in the shot hole symptom.

Anthracnose lesions are often clustered along the midribs of lower leaves. Romaine cultivars, in particular, exhibit severe disease along leaf midribs. If infected early and severely, young lettuce seedlings can be killed by anthracnose.


This disease requires cool, wet conditions for infection and symptom development. Anthracnose is always associated with rainy springs. Splashing water moves microsclerotia onto lettuce leaves, resulting in infection. The fungus, Microdochium panattonianum, is host specific to lettuce and can survive for up to 4 years as microscopic resting structures (microsclerotia) in the soil. Romaine cultivars are particularly susceptible.


To prevent disease development, avoid planting early spring lettuce in fields having a history of the disease. Rotate with any crop other than lettuce to help reduce soil inoculum levels, though such rotations will not eliminate the pathogen unless lettuce is not planted for over four years. Use irrigation systems (furrow or drip irrigation) that eliminate leaf wetting. Resistant cultivars are not widely available.

Organically Acceptable Methods
Cultural controls are organically acceptable.

Treatment Decisions
In fields with a history of this disease, begin treatments on early season (spring) lettuce crops if rainfall is imminent or at the first indication of disease symptoms.

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

Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
When choosing a pesticide, consider the general properties of the fungicide as well as information relating to environmental quality.
  (Quadris) 6.2–15.4 fl oz 4 0
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Quinone outside inhibitor (11)
  COMMENTS: See label for special phytotoxicity precautions.
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: Lettuce
UC ANR Publication 3450
S. T. Koike, UC Cooperative Extension, Monterey County
R. M. Davis, Plant Pathology, UC Davis

Top of page

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/r441100511.html revised: April 25, 2014. Contact webmaster.