Alternaria dauci appears on leaves as small variously-sized dark brown to black lesions. The lesions often appear on the edges or margins of the carrot leaf. In severe cases, the lesions expand, causing the leaflets to turn brown, shrivel and die. The leaf may have a scorched appearance.
Generally, the older, lowest leaves of a carrot are affected before the upper younger leaves. The disease will first be obvious in carrot crops as irregular patches or ‘hotspots’ of diseased leaves.
Cercospora carotae appears as small, almost circular, brown spots that are often surrounded by a yellow border. Generally the upper, younger leaves are affected first. C. carotae is not as prevalent as Alternaria dauci.
In the past, outbreaks of Cercospora had symptoms that were indistinguishable from those caused by Alternaria.
Root scab complex or carrot scab may be caused by seed-borne Alternaria or severe blight outbreaks in the field. This disorder is characterised by thin corky black lesions arising on the secondary root nodes on the carrot. Fusarium species can usually be isolated from scab lesions on carrots taken from the field, but evidence suggests that the Fusarium may be a secondary invader.
Leaf blight spores are spread by water, wind and machinery. The spores may come from other diseased fields or from debris of decomposing carrot leaves.
Alternaria dauci can be introduced on infested carrot seed. Spores produced on infected plants are spread rapidly during wet windy weather.
Crops that are affected by this disease
Carrot and Parsnip