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Septoria Leaf Spot

Department of Plant Pathology Archive, North Carolina State University, Bugwood.org
Septoria lycopersici. Septoria leaf spot is one of two common and serious fungal diseases that can devastate tomatoes in both commercial settings and home gardens. 

Symptoms of Septoria leaf spot first appear at thebase of affected plants, where small (approximately 1⁄4inch diameter) spots appear on leaves and stems.These spots typically have a whitish center and a dark border. Eventually multiple spots on a single leaf will merge, leading to extensive destruction of leaf tissue.

Septoria leaf spot can lead to total defoliation of lower leaves and even the death of an infected plant. Septoria leaf spot is caused by the fungus Septoria lycopersici, which survives in plant debris or on infected plants. Septoria leaf spot symptoms typically begin to occur as plant canopies start to close. Denser foliage leads to high humidity and longer periods of leaf wetness that favor the disease.
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