Rural Universe Network

KMS Kenya  (18-03-2013)  Anthony Biegon


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Photo of dried cabbage


Cabbages drying up

Black rot is caused by bacteria (Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris) and is transmitted by infected seed/seedlings. This disease is also spread by water (rain or irrigation water), farm equipment, implements, people and animals.


03 Name of the expert:

Dr. Lusike Wasilwa

04 Email address of expert:


06 Profession of Expert:

Molecular Plant Pathologist/ Plant Breeder

07 Organisation of expert:

Kenya Agricultural Research Institute

08 Practical experience:

Over 20 years

09 Diagnosis:

This disease is caused by black rot (bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris) . Black rot of cabbage has a long history in North Carolina, America, and many other places where cabbage and related crops are grown. The bacterium enters the plant principally through the stomates (the small openings underneath plant leaves that can open and close according to the plant needing to pass water and gas), and injuries on the leaves.

10 Practical Instruction:

- Field management. Practice crop rotation with maize or any other cereal (sorghum, millet). Ensure that field is well-drained and plant on raised beds. Destroy all infected plants. Work in the field later in the morning or only when the plants are dry. Ensure the use of healthy seedlings. Ensure that farm implements are cleaned using a solution of bleach (Jik or Topex).
- Field sanitation. Keep the field clean of plant debris and weeds. Properly dispose plant debris by burning because pathogens can survive on this medium o cause further infection. Hands should be washed to avoid transmission of this disease.
- Chemical control – Use copper based fungicides e.g. Kocide 101 or Cupravit following manufacturers’ recommendations.
- Plant health. Apply well matured farm yard manure and adequate fertilizer to maintain healthy plants. Avoid over watering during dry periods.
- Crop rotation – 3 year crop rotation with cereals (maize, sorghum, wheat). Avoid rotating with Brassicas (cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard), Crucifers i.e vegetables of Brassica family (cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, broccoli) and similar green leaf vegetables (radish) or pumpkin and sweet potato
- Tolerant varieties – Plant cabbage varieties tolerant to black rot including Green challenger, Riana or Pruktor.

11 Conditions for success:

- Choose a site that is properly drained and receives sufficient sunlight
- Use well matured farm yard manure
- Procure seed or seedlings from a certified source
- Rogue (destroy) all infected plants and monitor adjacent plants for symptoms
- Avoid overhead (sprinkler) irrigation
- Well managed field with no weeds that could serve as reservoirs for the disease

12 Conditions for failure:

- Poor disposal of cull piles with infested plant debris
- Poor drainage or over irrigation
- Use of wrong fungicides or over-diluted fungicides and not following the manufacturers recommendations
- Insufficient scouting to identify infected plants in time

13 Expected short term effect:

No new leaf symptoms observed

14 Expected mid-term effect:

Plants recover and vigorous growth is observed

15 Expected long-term effect:

Healthy plants with dark green leaves

16 How common is the problem:

very common

17 Importance:

The most important problem

18 Since when is it known:

more than 20 years

19 Tendency:


20 Geographic extent:

every where

21 IDs of similar cases in RUN:


01 ID of the request in RUN:


this is the answer to id: 8133
Africa Kenya Journal:KMS Kenya
  • Protection and Health
  •   Products:
  • Cabbage
    Additions to the article
    Author´s email:
     Email des Autors abiegon@kari.org
    Related links..
      Identification and management of blackrot in cabbage     General information on black rot disease and control     How to Control Black Rot in Cabbage     Black rot in orchids  
      Black Rot of Cabbage and Related Crops     Explains what cruciferous vegetables are     Identify and manage cabbage black rot  
      Plant disease notes: Black rot of cabbage – Alabama Cooperative Extension System