Penicillium ear rot

Penicillium spp.

Nature of damage

  • Damage is caused by rotting of kernels leading to direct yield loss.
  • Rotting of stored grain can lead to post-harvest losses.


  • A conspicuous, light blue-green powder grows between kernels and on the cob surface.
  • Kernels with fungal growth normally become bleached and streaked.

Factors favoring development

  • Ears are most vulnerable to infection following mechanical damage or injury caused by insect damage.
  • Grain stored at high moisture levels.

Geographic damage

  • Worldwide distribution

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