(Colletrotrichum gloeosporioides (Penz.) Penz.&Sacc)
The disease manifest in various form of symptoms causing leaf blight, fruit spot, wither tip, die back and fruit rotting as described below:
(i) Leaf blight: The disease starts as minute, dull violet black or black spots surrounded by yellow necrotic areas. The spots enlarge; coalesce to form depressed large spots of aniline black in color. Severely infected leaves show necrotic areas extending from leaf margins to cover whole leaf blade. Leaves show curling at some points and severely infected leaves, become dry and fall off. Sometimes shot hole stage is also observed.
(ii) Fruit spots: The pomegranate fruits are highly susceptible to attack by this pathogen from early stages of development (flower bud stage - (Reddish) and fruit enlargement stage before attaining greenish color and subsequently at color breaking stage. Smaller brownish spots, which become depressed subsequently, increase in size to form the large spots. During greenish stage of fruit development infection remains quiescent and exhibit symptoms at color breaking stage. Mature fruits show numerous brownish black depressed spots, which coalesced to form bigger patch. The entire infected portion changes color to yellowish brown and fruits start rotting which becomes serious during storage. Severe infection of fruits results in flower bud and fruit drop and in mummified fruit and at times cause rupture of the fruit exocarp also.
(iii) Wither tip and die back: Younger, developing shoot tips are killed due to attack of pathogen and some developing branches show drying from the tips backward with necrotic areas extending downwards, such branches become dry and devoid of foliage subsequently and give die back appearance. These symptoms are more pronounced in older trees and neglected orchards.
For the disease management, prune the dried twigs and branches and burn them. After pruning a general spray of copper oxychloride (Blitox 0.3%) and pasting of cut ends with copper fungicide should be practiced. Subsequently spraying with hexaconazole (Contaf 0.1%) or carbendazim (Bavistin 0.1%) or thiophanate methyl (Topsin M or Roko 0.1%) should be given. First spray at flower bud stage and subsequently 5 – 6 sprays at the interval of 7-10 days interval have to be provided. Chlorothalonil (Kavach 0.2%) or mancozeb (IndofilDithane M 0.2%) in non-systemic category also control the disease.