Finger millet Foot Rot or Wilt

Finger Millet Foot Rot or Wilt: Sclerotium Rolfsii

  • The infected plants remain green and stunted.
  • The fungus attacks the basal stem portion and later the leaf sheath and culm.
  • The infected portion becomes soft and dark brown in colour.
  • The fungus is seen to grow in between the sheath and stem on the lesions.
  • The plant ultimately dies.
  • On the surface of lesions, small, spherical, dark coloured sclerotia are formed.
Identification of pathogen:
  • The pathogen forms a submerged vegetative mycelium consisting of single hyphae and an aerial  mycelium composed  of both single hyphae and hyphal strands.
  • Sclerotial initials are formed on these hyphal strands
  • Sclerotia (0.5-2.0mm diameter) begin to develop after 4-7 days of mycelial growth (2,10). Initially a felty white appearance, sclerotia quickly melanize to a dark brown coloration
  • Sclerotia contain viable hyphae and serve as primary inoculum for disease development.
  • Keeping the plants healthy and robust, and providing good drainage and other optimum soil conditions, help to avoid the disease.
  • Deep ploughing before sowing and proper crop sequences involving non-poaceous crops reduces disease intensity.
  • Spot Drench with Copper oxychloride at 0.25 per cent for preventing spread of disease.




  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal