Managing anthracnose in lettuce

Anthracnose lettuce coral S Grigg

Anthracnose is a foliage disease of lettuce that causes significant crop losses in iceberg, cos and babyleaf lettuce. It is an intermittent disease in Australia, driven mainly by extended periods of wet weather, particularly in mild-cool wet periods, during which crop losses can be severe. It mainly affects field-grown crops, being less frequent and less severe under protected cropping.

Why study this?

To reduce crop losses as a result of anthracnose.

What was done

Anthracnose is caused by the fungus Microdochium panattonianum and is spread either by spores or resistant structures called microsclerotia. The study examined cultural methods for controlling anthracnose: leaf wetness, crop rotation and crop hygiene, buffer zones and roguing, and weed control.

What we found

The best practice guide details irrigation practices, crop rotation and crop hygiene practices, buffer zones, removal of infected plants, weed control, monitoring of lettuce seedlings, varietal control, chemical control and calcium sprays which may help control anthracnose.


The best practice guide that was produced outlines control options available to Australian lettuce growers to control anthracnose.

Management of lettuce anthracnose

Developing a strategy to control Anthracnose in lettuce

For more information contact

Mike Titley, Applied Horticultural Research Pty Ltd