Scab disease of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) caused by Sphaceloma a species of the fungus



Scab disease of cowpea (Vigna unguiculuta) was shown to be caused by Sphaceloma sp. It affects all above ground parts of the plant. The first symptom of the disease, appearing within 3 to 6 days of inoculation, is puckering of the lamina. Spots on mature leaves are white with or without brown margins. Typical scab lesions on petiole, stem, peduncle and pod are white turning dark brown when chlamydospores are formed and are oblong-elongate except for pod lesions that are ovoid. The most destructive phase is scab of the flowering axis which causes flower and, or, pod abortion or completely prevents flower formation.

Inoculation of asparagus pea (V. sesquipedalis) with a cowpea isolate of Sphaceloma sp. produced symptoms similar to those on cowpea. Inoculated hyacinth bean (Lablab niger) produced atypical mild lesions. The following legumes were not affected when artificially inoculated with the fungus: black gram (Phaseolus mungo), green gram (P, aureus), French bean (P. vulgaris), Lima bean (P. lunatus), groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), and soyabean (Glycine max). The characteristics of the fungus on potato dextrose agar are described.