Kabatiella zeae (eyespot)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Distribution Table
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Seedborne Aspects
- Plant Trade
- Impact Summary
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Kabatiella zeae Narita & Y. Hirats.
Preferred Common Name
Other Scientific Names
- Aureobasidium zeae (Narita & Y. Hirats.) Dingley
International Common Names
- English: eye spot: maize; maize eye spot
- Spanish: antracnosis del maiz
- French: brunissure du mais; kabatiellose du mais; kabatiellosis; taches oculaires du mais
Local Common Names
- Germany: Augenfleckenkrankheit: Mais
- Poland: drobna (oczkowa) plamistosc lisci kukurydzy; drobna plamistosc lisci kukurydzy
- KABAZE (Kabatiella zeae)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Fungi
- Phylum: Ascomycota
- Subphylum: Pezizomycotina
- Class: Dothideomycetes
- Subclass: Dothideomycetidae
- Order: Dothideales
- Family: Dothioraceae
- Genus: Kabatiella
- Species: Kabatiella zeae
DescriptionTop of page Concentrations of conidiomata (acervuli) are produced on a dense mycelium layer (mat) on a small area of the infected plant organ. This is often covered with a skin or cuticle. The conidiomata are small, whitish, flat or convex. Unicellular, colourless, ellipsoidal, slightly curved conidia, 2.5-5.0 x 12-22 µm, are present on the apex (Reifschneider and Arny, 1980).
DistributionTop of page Eyespot disease was first identified and described in Japan in 1956. It was later found to be present in the USA (Arny et al., 1971), Canada (Gates and Mortimore, 1969) and in Europe.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|China||Present||UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Jilin||Present||UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Yunnan||Present||UK CAB International, 1993|
|India||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-West Bengal||Present||Kaiser, 1994|
|Japan||Widespread||UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Hokkaido||Present||UK CAB International, 1993|
|Canada||Restricted distribution||UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Ontario||Present||Introduced||1969||Gates and Mortimore, 1969; UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Quebec||Present||Introduced||1975||Chez and Hudon, 1975; UK CAB International, 1993|
|USA||Restricted distribution||UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Illinois||Present||UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Indiana||Present||UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Iowa||Present||UK CAB International, 1993; Wegulo et al., 1997|
|-Michigan||Present||UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Minnesota||Present||UK CAB International, 1993|
|-New York||Present||Kashama, 1979; UK CAB International, 1993|
|-North Dakota||Present||Cross et al., 2003|
|-South Dakota||Present||Introduced||1985||Carson, 1985; UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Wisconsin||Present||UK CAB International, 1993|
|Argentina||Present||Introduced||1972||Frezzi, 1972; UK CAB International, 1993; Corcuera and Sandoval, 1998|
|Brazil||Present||UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Mato Grosso do Sul||Present||UK CAB International, 1993|
|-Parana||Present||Santos et al., 2007; Santos et al., 2007|
|-Parana||Present||Santos et al., 2007; Santos et al., 2007|
|-Santa Catarina||Present||Santos et al., 2007; Santos et al., 2007|
|-Santa Catarina||Present||Santos et al., 2007; Santos et al., 2007|
|Austria||Present||Bohm and Glaeser, 1979; Zwatz, 1986; UK CAB International, 1993|
|Bulgaria||Present||Hooker & Smiljakovic, 1983; Popov and Popova, 1979|
|Croatia||Present||Levic, 1987; Brekalo et al., 1991; UK CAB International, 1993; Palaversic, 2004|
|France||Widespread||Introduced||1971||Na´bo & Thierry, 1999; Cassini et al., 1972; Cassini, 1973; Cassini, 1975; UK CAB International, 1993|
|Germany||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||1972||Schneider and Kruger, 1972; Winter and Menzi, 1991; UK CAB International, 1993|
|Poland||Present||Invasive||Czaplinska, 1981; Lisowicz, 2000|
|Slovenia||Present||Palaversic et al., 2001|
|Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)||Widespread||UK CAB International, 1993|
|New Zealand||Widespread||Introduced||1971||Dingley, 1973; UK CAB International, 1993|
Habitat ListTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page K. zeae is specific to maize.
Growth StagesTop of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage
SymptomsTop of page The first symptoms of eyespot occur in June. Minor, light-coloured and somewhat translucent spots appear, surrounded by a red-brown ring with a chlorotic yellow halo, easily seen against the light. The leaf spots are circular to oval, 1-4 mm in diameter, and are called eyespots on account of their shape and colour. The spots gradually become darker and the centres, which become more brown, may fall out. The spots are arranged along the leaf vein and are most numerous along the leaf edges. Leaf spots are initially single, but rapidly spread to cover the entire leaf area. The disease is most commonly seen in patches on the leaves. Lesions are most common on older plants and are not commonly seen early in the season. In addition to the leaves, K. zeae attacks the leaf sheath and the leaves covering the ears. The disease can cause severe shrivelling of the ears. The leaves turn yellow and die at the site of infection. Necrotic areas spread causing premature drying of the leaves and thereby a decrease in grain yield (Reifschneider and Arny, 1983). K. zeae inhibits growth and can even cause plant death (Schneider and Kruger, 1972; Czaplinska and Przybysz, 1985). The highest eyespot intensity occurs in August, September and early October. Kabatiella infection on maize leaves remains visible even when the leaves die.
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Leaves / abnormal colours|
|Leaves / abnormal patterns|
|Leaves / fungal growth|
|Leaves / necrotic areas|
|Leaves / yellowed or dead|
|Stems / discoloration|
|Stems / discoloration of bark|
|Stems / internal red necrosis|
|Stems / necrosis|
|Whole plant / early senescence|
|Whole plant / plant dead; dieback|
Biology and EcologyTop of page The most frequently reported source of eyespot infection is crop debris left over from the previous season (Arny et al., 1971; Reifschneider and Arny, 1983). K. zeae overwinters as stroma, which are formed on infected maize plants at the end of the season. In the spring these stroma produce conidia, which disperse by wind or light rain to the leaves of nearby young maize plants, where they germinate. Secondary spread of the eyespot disease is by wind and water splash of spores from one plant to another. The incubation period for the disease is about 4-10 days, depending on weather conditions. The production of conidia and the development of leaf eyespot are favoured by long periods of cool, wet weather during the growing season (Arny et al., 1971; Czaplinska and Przybysz, 1985; Lipps and Mills, 2005), so regions with cool, moist environments are most affected by the disease. Maize is most susceptible at 10-12°C (HYP3, 2005).
Eyespot is most severe when crop residues are left on the soil at the end of the growing period and in fields where maize is grown continuously (Lipps and Mills, 2005). Careful cultivation and crop rotation can help to reduce early infection; however, cases of the disease have been encountered on carefully cultivated fields and on the fields where maize has never been grown (Arny et al., 1971).
Eyespot disease may also be seedborne, but this source of inoculum is negligible compared to the number of spores produced on infested crop residues (Lipps and Mills, 2005).
Seedborne AspectsTop of page
K. zeae has not been detected in seeds, but husks may be infected (Cassini, 1971). Reifschneider and Arny (1979a) detected K. zeae in 2% of seeds from ears inoculated under the husk. Jones and Baker (2007) report that K. zeae entered the UK via imported maize seeds.
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Leaves||spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page Economic losses to eyespot are uncommon (Walker Kirby, 1998); however, losses can occur when infection is severe; when much of the leaf area is blighted within 3-4 weeks after silking; when early and severe leaf blighting occurs on suceptible hybrids grown in no-till or reduced tillage fields; when defoliation from leaf blighting increases stalk rot (losses from lodged maize); and when the season is abnormally cool and the disease attacks maize earlier in the season (Lipps and Mills, 2005).
DiagnosisTop of page Leaf samples showing typical symptoms of eyespot should be collected and the pathogen isolated using a weighing method. Potato-glucose PDA medium can be used to re-isolate the fungus. Representative cultures are produced and uniembryonate cultures are obtained by a method of multiple dilutions. K. zeae grows best on 4% malt agar, and can be described to species level using monographs and identification keys.
Detection and InspectionTop of page The first symptoms of eyespot disease can be seen in June, but most often they appear at the beginning of July, depending on atmospheric conditions. When inspecting fields for eyespot, look for typical symptoms on the leaves. The degree of infection can be estimated by determining the leaf area affected using a 5-degree scale where: 1° = 0.1-5%, 2° = 5-15%, 3° = 15-30%, 4° = 30-50% and 5° => 50% of the leaf area has spots.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page Eyespot symptoms are easily confused with physiological changes caused by nutrient deficiency, particularly at the initial stages of the disease. Similar symptoms can also be produced by insect feeding (particularly by aphids) or the improper application of herbicides. Early spotting, caused by Curvularia, produces similar symptoms to eyespot.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.Thorough cultivation and crop rotation can reduce early infection by K. zeae. Arny et al. (1971) recommend using a 3-4-year interval for maize cultivation in the same field. The amount of infectious material can be reduced by a suitable crop rotation and thorough ploughing and destruction of after-harvest residues, particularly from seriously infected plants. Deep ploughing of crop debris prevents sporulation of the stromas and promotes decomposition (HYP3, 2005) thus limiting early season spread.
Resistance to K. zeae is important in the control of eyespot and hybrids with some resistance to the disease should be planted. Susceptible hydrids include Julia, Heros, Agio and Aura; more resistant hybrids include Kosmo and Elsa. Even a known source of resistance such as the line Oh43 can be subject to infection in the case of epiphytosis (Reifschneider and Arny, 1983).
Fungicides registered for use against K. zeae include mancozeb, propiconazole, chlorothalonil and benomyl (Gay and Cassini, 1973; Pronczuk et al., 1996). For effective protection against K. zeae, seed dressings are recommended, followed by spraying the plants at the early stages of disease development when 1% or less of the leaf area is infected. More than one application may be necessary when conditions are favourable to the disease. The use of fungicides against eyespot can be prohibitively expensive, except on seed production fields (Lipps and Mills, 2005).
Pest control plays an important role in reducing the occurrence of eyespot, particularly the control of Aphididae and Thysanoptera, which feed on maize and can facilitate the penetration of conidia.
ReferencesTop of page
Anon, 2009. Infection 'was not as bad as was first feared'. Farmers Guardian., unpaginated. http://www.farmersguardian.com/news/livestock/infection-%E2%80%98not-as-bad-as-was-first-feared%E2%80%99/28336.article
Arny DC; Smallej EB; Ullstrup AJ; Worf GL; Ahrens RW, 1971. Eyespot of maize, a disease new to North America. Phytopathology, 61:54-57.
Bohm H; Glaeser G, 1979. Report on the occurrence of important diseases and pests on cultivated plants in Austria in 1976. Pflanzenschutzberichte, 1976-1979, 45:7-12; 145-151.
Borecki Z, 1996. Polskie nazwy chorób roslin uprawnych. Polskie Towarzystwo Fitopatologiczne, 108-109.
Carson ML, 1985. First report of eyespot (Kabatiella zeae) of corn in South Dakota. Plant Disease, 69(2):177
Cassini R, 1971. Helminthosporium maydis, race T and Kabatiella zeae, two new pathogens of maize in France. Bull. Tech. Inf., 264/265:1067-1072.
Cassini R; Gay JP; Cassini R, 1972. Observations on the development cycle and survival structures of Kabatiella zeae. Annales de Phytopathologie. 4(4):367-371.
Cross HZ; Wanner DW; Carena MJ, 2003. Registration of ND291 inbred line of maize. Crop Science, 43(4):1568.
Czaplinska S, 1981. Drobna plamistosc lisci (eyespot) - Kabatiella zeae Narita et Hiratsuka, nowa choroba kukurydzy w Polsce. Hodowla Roslin, 3:18-19.
Czaplinska S; Przybysz M, 1985. Niektóre aspekty biologii grzyba Kabatiella zeae Narita et fleckenkrankheit an Mais in Deutschland. Phytopathologische Zeitschrift. 74: 3, 457-482.
Dingley JM, 1973. ’Eye spot’ disease of maize in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research. 16: 3, 325-328.
Gates LF; Mortimore CG, 1969. Three diseases of corn (Zea mays), new to Ontario: crazytop, a Phyllosticta leaf spot and eyespot. Canadian Plant Disease Survey, 49:128-131.
Gay JP; Cassini R, 1973. Possibilities of control of maize diseases by fungicide treatments during growth. Phytiatrie Phytopharmacie, 22(1):19-26.
Glaeser G, 1979. Report on the occurrence of important diseases and pests on cultivated plants in Austria in the year 1977. Pflanzenschutzberichte, 45(7-12):153-164.
Hooker AL; Smiljakovic H, 1979. Maize breeding for disease resistance. Proceedings of the tenth meeting of the Maize and Sorghum Section of Eucarpia, 17-19 September 1979, Varna, Bulgaria., 157-178; 65 ref.
HYP3, 2005. Eyespot of maize. HYP3 on line. http://www.inra.fr/Internet/Produits/HYP3/pathogene/6kabzea.htm Istitut National de la Recherche Agronomique.
Kashama M, 1979. Resistance to Kabatiella zeae in corn (Zea mays L.). Proceedings of the thirty-fourth northeastern corn improvement conference, New York, USA, 9-10 February, 22-23.
Levic J, 1987. Inheritance of resistance of the leaves of maize (Zea mays L.) to Kabatiella zeae Narita et Hiratsuka and identifying sources of resistance. Arhiv za Poljoprivredne Nauke. 48:170, 173-203.
Lipps PE; Mills DR, 2005. Eyespot disease of corn. Ohio State University Extension. http://ohioline.osu.edu/ac-fact/0021.html.
Narita T; Hiratsuka Y, 1959. Studies on Kabatiella zeae n.sp., the causal fungus of a new leafspot disease of corn. Ann. Phytopathological Society Japan, 24:147-153.
Palaversic B; Rozman L; Milevoj L; Celar F, 2001. The investigation of incidence of some maize leaf diseases in Croatia and in Slovenia. Zbornik predavanj in referatov 5. Slovensko Posvetovanje o Varstvu Rastlin, C^hacek~atez^hacek~ ob Savi, Slovenija, 6. marec-8. marec 2001, 458-463; 8 ref.
Pencic V; Smiljakovic H, 1971. Investigations of the resistance of self-pollinating lines and hybrids of corn to Kabatiella zeae Narita et Hiratsuka. Plant Protection, Yugoslavia. Publikation, 22:115-116.
Pronczuk M; Bojanowski J, 1993. Effect of Kabatiella zeae on fusarium stalk rot prevalence in maize. Hodowla Roslin, Aklimatyzacja i Nasiennictwo, 37(4):103-109.
Pronczuk M; Bojanowski J; Warzecha R, 1994. Eyespot: a new foliage disease of maize in Poland. Genetica Polonica, 35B:361-366; 10 ref.
Pronczuk M; Bojanowski J; Warzecha R, 1996. Preliminary evaluation of effectiveness of fungicides in protecting maize plants against diseases. Biuletyn Instytutu Hodowli i Aklimatyzacji RoSlin, No. 197:151-155; 6 ref.
Santos Idos; Silva Ada; Malagi G, 2007. Occurrence of maize eyespot caused by Kabatiella zeae in Paraná and Santa Catarina state, Brazil. (Ocorrência de mancha ocular em milho causada por Kabatiella zeae no Paraná e em Santa Catarina.) Fitopatologia Brasileira, 32(4):359. http://www.scielo.br/pdf/fb/v32n4/14.pdf
Shurtleff MC; Edwards DI; Noel GR; Pedersen WL; White DG, 2000. Primary collators (last update 4/3/93). The International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. Common Names of Plant Diseases. Diseases of Corn or Maize (Zea mays L.) IS-MPMI net.
Walker Kirby H, 1998. Eyespot of corn. Pest Management and Crop Development Bulletin. http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/cespubs/pest/articles/v9817g.html. Cooperative Extension Service, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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