Plant Disease Profiles



A. Choose a Kansas disease to profile. (...)

B. Submit a rough draft of your plant disease profile. (...)

C. Submit the final version of your plant disease profile. (...)

Your disease choices (#A) are due via E-mail ( by 5 PM of the due date. The rough drafts (#B) and final versions (#C) are due via Drop Box (K-State Online) by 5 PM (time stamp) of the due date.

  1. A.Choose a Kansas disease to profile.

Depending upon your interests, choose ONE from the following list of diseases. They are separated into six categories: “Crop Diseases”, “Vegetable Diseases”, “Horticultural Plant Diseases”, “Turfgrass Diseases”, and “Tree/Fruit Tree Diseases”. It is best that you narrow your search down to the plant/crop you are most interested in first, then choose a disease. Perhaps there is a disease you’ve seen on your own farm, nursery, or greenhouse operation? Or, one you’ve read or heard about elsewhere? Recommendation: Do a little bit of research in advance of submitting your disease choice. This will let you know if you’ll have enough information and images from which to assemble your disease profile.

NOTE: Disease names can be confusing -- I’ve used the common disease name approved by the American Phytopathological Society in each case, if available. Also, the names of the pathogenic organisms (genus and species) have a tendency to change (taxonomic revision) and also can be different for asexual and sexual life cycle stages (particularly for certain fungal pathogens). Thus, don’t be surprised if you see a slightly different disease or pathogen name depending on the age or origin of your reference materials. The material below is meant to serve as a starting point, but may not be complete. If you find I’ve made an error (or am using an old pathogen name), please let me know as soon as possible!


(Diseases that are highlighted have been chosen by another student and are no longer available.)

Crop Diseases:

Alfalfa mosaic virus (Alfamovirus)

Alfalfa root and crown rot (a complex of several fungal pathogens)

Alternaria leaf spot of sunflower (Alternaria spp.)

Anthracnose of corn (Colletotrichum graminicola)

Aspergillus ear rot of corn (Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus)

Bacterial blight of soybean (Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea)

Bacterial pustule of soybean (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. glycines)

Bacterial stripe of sorghum (Pseudomonas andropogonis)

Barley yellow dwarf virus (in wheat)

Bean pod mottle virus (in soybean)

Black point of wheat (Alternaria and Curvularia spp.)

Charcoal rot of soybean (Macrophomina phaseolina)

Common bunt of wheat (Tilletia tritici, T. laevis)

Common leaf spot of alfalfa (Pseudopeziza medicaginis)

Common smut of corn (Ustilago maydis)

Common rust of corn and sorghum (Puccinia sorghi)

Corn lethal necrosis (complex of viruses)

Diplodia ear mold of corn (Diplodia maydis)

Downy mildew of soybean (Peronospora manschurica)

Downy mildew of sunflower (Plasmopara halstedii)

Dryland foot rot of wheat (Fusarium [Gibberella] spp.)

Ergot of wheat (Claviceps purpurea)

Frogeye leaf spot of soybean (Cercospora sojina)

Gibberella ear rot of corn (Fusarium graminearum [Gibberella zeae])

Goss’s  wilt of corn (Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis)

Gray leaf spot of corn (Cercospora maydis)

High plains virus in wheat and corn

Leaf blotch of wheat (Septoria tritici)

Leaf rust of wheat (Puccinia recondita)

Lepto leaf spot of alfalfa (Leptosphaerulina trifolii)

Maize dwarf mosaic virus (in corn and sorghum)

Northern corn leaf blight (Exserohilum turcicum [Setosphaeria turcica])

Phomopsis canker of sunflower (Phomopsis helianthi)

Phytophthora root rot of soybean (Phytophthora sojae)

Powdery mildew of sunflower (several powdery mildew fungi)

Powdery mildew of wheat (Blumeria graminis)

Rhizopus head rot of sunflower (Rhizopus stolonifer, R. arrizhus)

Seed rot and seedling blight of soybean (several pathogenic fungi)

Septoria brown spot of soybean (Septoria glycines)

Soilborne mosaic virus of wheat

Sooty stripe of sorghum (Ramulispora sorghi)

Sorghum downy mildew (Peronosclerospora sorghi)   

Sorghum ergot (Claviceps africana)

Southern rust of corn (Puccinia purpureum)

Soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines)

Soybean mosaic virus

Soybean sudden death syndrome (Fusarium virguiliforme)

Soybean vein necrosis virus (Tospovirus)

Spring black spot/black stem of alfalfa (Phoma medicaginis)

Stalk rot of corn and sorghum (Fusarium spp. and others)

Stem rust of wheat (Puccinia graminis)

Stewart’s wilt of corn (Pantoea (Erwinia) stewartii)

Stripe rust of wheat (Puccinia striiformis)

Summer black stem of alfalfa (Cercospora medicaginis)

Sunflower rust (Puccinia helianthi)

Take-all root rot of wheat (Gaeumannomyces graminis)

Tan spot of wheat (Pyrenophora tritici-repentis)

Wheat glume blotch (complex of pathogens)

Wheat head scab (Fusarium graminearum) (aka. Fusarium head blight)

Wheat spindle streak virus

Wheat streak mosaic virus

Vegetable Diseases:

Bacterial canker of tomato (Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis)

Bacterial ring rot of potato (Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepidonicus)

Bacterial speck of tomato (Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato)

Bacterial spot of tomato (Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria)

Black scurf of potato (Rhizoctonia solani)

Common scab of potato (Streptomyces scabies)

Cucumber mosaic virus

Cucumber wilts (a few bacterial and fungal pathogens)

Cucurbit powdery mildew (Sphaerotheca fuliginea)

Dry rot of potato (Fusarium sambucinum)

Early blight of tomato (Alternaria solani)

Fusarium wilt of tomato (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici)

Gummy stem blight of cucurbits (Didymella bryoniae)

Potato leaf roll virus

Purple blotch of onion (Alternaria porri)

Root knot nematode (of tomato) (Meloidogyne incognita)

Septoria leaf spot of tomato (Septoria lycopersici)

Tobacco mosaic virus (in tomato)

Tomato anthracnose (Colletotrichum coccodes, C. dematium, C. gloeosporoides)

Tomato spotted wilt virus

Verticillium wilt of tomato (Verticillium albo-atrum, V. dahliae)

Horticultural Diseases:

Aerial blight of periwinkle (Phytophthora parasitica)

Anthracnose of gooseberry (Gloeosporidiella ribis)

Aster yellows of purple coneflower (phytoplasma)

Bacterial leaf spot of English ivy (Xanthomonas campestris pv. hedera)

Bacterial leaf spot of hydrangea (Pseudomonas cichorii)

Black rot of grape (Guignardia bidwellii)

Black spot of rose (Diplocarpon rosae)

Botrytis blight of geranium (Botrytis cinerea)

Day lily rust (Puccinia hemerocallidis)

Grape anthracnose (Elsinoe ampelina)

Grape downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola)

Gray mold of strawberry (Botrytis cinerea)

Iris leaf spot (Didymella macrospora)

Kabatina tip blight of creeping juniper (Kabatina juniperi)

Leaf blotch of strawberry (Gnomonia comari [Zythia fragariae])

Hollyhock rust (Puccinia malvacearum)

Hosta virus X

Impatiens necrotic spot virus of Balsom

Phlox powdery mildew (Erysiphe cichoracearum)

Phomopsis gall of forsythia (Phomopsis spp.)

Phytophthora root rot of rhododendron (Phytophthora cactorum, P. cinnamomi, P. citricola)

Powdery mildew of African violet (Oidium spp.)

Powdery mildew of columbine (Erysiphe aquilegiae var. aquilegiae)

Powdery mildew of honeysuckle (Oidium spp.)

Powdery mildew of lilac (Microsphaera penicillata and other spp.)

Powdery mildew of phlox (Erysiphe cichoracearum)

Powdery mildew of rose (Sphaerotheca pannosa)

Pythium root rot of geranium (Pythium spp.)

Pythium root rot of Impatiens (Pythium spp.)

Pythium root rot of mums (Pythium spp.)

Red spot of peony (Cladosporium spp.)

Root rot of petunia (Pythium, Rhizoctonia)

Rose mosaic virus

Rose rosette (virus)

Septoria leaf spot of raspberries and blackberries (Septoria rubi)

Turfgrass Diseases:

Anthracnose of turf (Colletotrichum  graminicola)

Aschochyta leaf blight (Aschochyta spp.)

Brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani)

Dollar spot (Sclerotinia homeocarpa)

Fairy rings (numerous mushroom-producing fungi such as Lepiota spp.)

Gray leaf spot (Pyricularia grisea)

Large patch (Rhizoctonia solani)

Leaf spot/melting out (Bipolaris, Drechslera, and Exserohilum spp.)

Necrotic ringspot (Leptosphaeria korrae)

Powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis)

Pythium foliar blight (Pythium spp.)

Rust (Puccinia and Uromyces spp.)

Spring dead spot (Ophiosphaerella korrae, O. herpotricha)

Summer patch (Magnaporthe poae)

Snow mold (Microdochium nivale)

Take-all patch (Gaeumannomyces graminis)

Yellow patch (Rhizoctonia cerealis)

Tree/Fruit Tree Diseases:

Apple scab (Venturia inaequalis)

Ash anthracnose (Gloeosporium aridum)

Ash rust (Puccinia sparganioides)

Bacterial leaf spot of peach (Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni)

Black knot of cherry (Dibotryon morbosum)

Brown rot of peach (Monilinia fructicola, M. laxa)

Elm black spot (Stegophora ulmea)

Fire blight of apple and pear (Erwinia amylovora)

Cedar-apple rust (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae)

Cytospora canker of cottonwood (Cytospora chrysosperma)

Cytospora canker of plum (Cytospora leucostoma, C. cincta)

Dothiostroma needle blight (Dothiostroma septospora)

Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma ulmi, O. novo-ulmi)

Ganoderma wood decay of oak (Ganoderma spp.)

Hawthorn rust (Gymnosporangium globosum)

Thryonectria canker of honeylocust (Thyronectria austro-americana)

Hypoxylon canker of oak (Hypoxylon atropunctatum)

Maple anthracnose (Discula spp.)

Mycosphaerella leaf spot of ash (Mycosphaerella fraxinicola)

Nectria canker of elm (Nectria spp.)

Peach leaf curl (Taphrina deformans)

Peach scab (Cladosporium carpophilum)

Phomopsis tip blight of juniper (Phomopsis juniperovora)

Phytophthora root rot of holly (Phytophthora cinnamomi)

Phytophthora root rot of juniper (Phytophthora cinnamomi, P. cryptogea)

Pine tip blight (Diploida pinea)

Pine wilt (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus)

Plum rust (Tranzschelia discolor)

Powdery mildew of chokecherry (Podosphaera oxyacanthae)

Powdery mildew of oak (Microsphaera alphitoides)

Quince rust (Gymnosporangium clavipes)

Rhizosphaera needle cast of spruce (Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii)

Septoria leaf spot of dogwood (Septoria cornicola)

Sphaeropsis tip blight and canker of pine (Sphaeropsis sapinea)

Sycamore anthracnose (Apiognomonia veneta)

Tubakia (Actinopelte) leaf spot of oak

Verticillium wilt of maple (Verticillium dahliae)


Thousand cankers disease of walnut (Geosmithia sp.)

Huanglongbing disease of citrus (“citrus greening”)

*Ideas suggested by students. May or may not be a Kansas disease in these cases.

B. Submit a rough draft of your plant disease profile

Your plant disease profile needs to be divided into the following sections:

I. Introduction and Significance

This section of the profile will answer the following questions:

(1a) What are the symptoms and signs of the disease?

(1b) What other diseases are similar on this particular host?

(1c) Are there any other diseases that can be confused with this one?

(1d) What is the history of this disease?

(1e) What are the losses associated with the disease?

*Need at least one image showing symptoms and/or signs of the disease.

II. Hosts, Pathogen Biology and Epidemiology

This section of the profile will answer the following questions:

(2a) What host plants are susceptible to the disease?

(2b) What physical/physiological features of the host promote disease development?

(2c) How does the pathogen reproduce? Survive? Infect the host?

(2d) When do the activities (mentioned in 2c) occur?

(2e) What environmental parameters influence the pathogen and development of the disease?

*Need at least one image showing a microscopic view of the pathogen.

III. Disease Control

This section of the profile will answer the following questions:

(3a) Is there genetic resistance available for this disease? If so, identify varieties/cultivars, etc.

(3b) Are there cultural management strategies for this disease? If so, identify strategies.

(3c) Are there chemical management strategies for the disease? If so, identify products.

(3d) Are there biological control strategies for the disease? If possible, identify products.

*Need at least one image showing the implementation or the result of a disease control strategy. (This one is the most challenging.)

IV. References

Please follow the format of Crop Science for your reference list. You can download examples of articles from this journal, which includes the references listed in the proper format at the end of each article, at this link: (You need to access this on campus in order to find example journal articles and the format standards of their reference lists.). The “Instructions to Authors” for Crop Science also has examples of reference formats.

There are two ways that you can manage your references in this document. The first is parenthetical citation, as you’ve done for other writing projects. Examples for this are shown below:

    Single author = (Smith, 2013) = Author, Year (in parentheses)

    Two authors = (Smith and Doe, 2013) = Authors, Year (in parentheses)

    More than two = (Smith et al., 2013) = First author et al.*, Year (in parentheses)

*Use a period for “et al.” It is an abbreviation for the Latin “et alii/et alia” [“and others”]).

The second method is numerical citation. In this case, list references in alphabetical order and enumerate them. Once there is a number assigned to each reference in the list, the corresponding number, in brackets [1], can be inserted into the text where appropriate.

Please feel free to visit or e-mail me if you have specific questions for reference format.


1. Body: The document contains drafts for all of the sections: “I. Introduction and Significance”, “II. Hosts, Pathogen Biology, and Epidemiology”, and “III. Disease Control”. Each of the sections is original and not “cut-and-paste” from the internet. Remember, it is a “rough draft”, so it is not in a final form -- but, I will be looking to see that you are answering the content questions for each section (see above). (60 points)

2. Images: The document has at least three high quality images (and detailed captions) that represent: (1) symptoms/signs of the disease, (2) the pathogen, and (3) implementation or result of a disease control strategy. (30 points)

  1. 3.Reference list: Use the format requested above. (10 points)

NOTE: These are MINIMUM expectations. So, doing the MINIMUM may not yield a full score if others are contributing more detail, quality, and creativity in their assignments. The key is to go the extra mile for a high quality PDP!

C. Submit a final draft of your plant disease profile


1. Overall quality: The final draft is a polished product. The final draft is not just a resubmission of the of the rough draft (a few minor changes here and there do not constitute a professional revision). Could the PDP be published as is? (10 pts)

2. Format: PDP is saved in a PDF format. Document is in paragraph form, not outline form. (10 pts)

3. PDP Sections: All topic sections are present and clearly labeled. (1) Introduction and significance; (2) Hosts, Pathogen Biology, and Epidemiology; (3) Disease Control. (10 pts)

4. Pathogen names: All genus and species names are italicized. Genus names are capitalized; species names are not. Genus and species names are spelled correctly. The subspecies abbreviations "pv." and "f.sp.", should not be italicized themselves, but the pathogen name should be (e.g. "pv. glycinea"). If the PDP covers a virus disease, the proper virus names (family, genus, species) have been identified. (10 pts)

5. Figures: There is at least one figure for each of the following categories: (1) symptoms/signs, (2) the pathogen itself, and (3) implementation/result of a disease control strategy. (10 pts)

6. Figure captions: Figures have detailed captions. Do the figures "stand alone"? In other words, can the reader understand everything in the figure without referring back to the text? Each figure is referenced using parenthetical or numerical citations within the caption. (10 pts)

7. Figure quality: Figures are high quality, e.g. no low quality blurriness or pixelation. Figures are of sufficient size that they can be read. Figure dimensions have not been skewed or stretched excessively. (10 pts)

8. Citations: Used parenthetical or numerical citations throughout the text. Parenthetical citations must have proper format. (10 pts)

9. Reference list: There is a reference list at the end of the PDP. References are in a consistent format and contain all of the information necessary to find the source. (10 pts)

10. The PDP final draft was submitted by 5 PM on the due date (or earlier). (10 pts)

NOTE: Final draft rubrics will only be provided upon specific request to the instructor.


1. The assignment must be turned in on or before each of the due dates. Late submissions will be penalized 10 points per day.

2. The rough draft and final draft of the assignment are to be e-mailed to the instructor and submitted in PDF format.

3. Here are the points for each part of the assignment (total of 200 points):

    (3a) Rough draft (100 points) (see grading rubric below)

    (3b) Final draft (100 points) (see grading rubric below)