Sweetpotato scurf

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Scientific name: Monilochaetes infuscans Ellis & Halsted


Brown spots merge and discolour storage root surface (G. Lawrence, APS).


An infected mother root and sprouts (G. Lawrence, APS).

Diagnostic summary

  • What you see on plants

- initially small brown spots on storage root surface which enlarge and coalesce to give discoloured, superficial, necrotic areas of varying sizes and shapes.


- colour of lesion depends on skin colour.  Copper-skinned cultivars have brown lesions and red ones have almost black lesions.


- above-ground parts are not affected unless in contact with infected soil.


- disease further develops during storage but no new infections are observed. Affected areas become leathery and dry, with a loss of moisture and consequently shrinkage of the root.

  • Found in different regions of the world but more prevalent in  temperate  growing areas.

  • More severe in rainy seasons and in heavy soils.


Economic importance

Geographical distribution



Biology and ecology

Host range



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