Worldwide distribution. In tropics and sub-tropics. On ginger, taro, giant taro, Xanthosoma, beans and capsicum (seeFact sheet no. 44). Many kinds of seedlings are susceptible to damping-off disease in the nursery (see Fact Sheet No. 47).
A water mould, an oomycete, not a fungus, living in soil on remains of crops, weeds, or as resistant spores.
Swimming spores infect roots, buds on rhizome or the stems of shoots. Stems collapse, and leaves yellow and die. Patches of yellow develop in the field.
Spread occurs in soil water to neighbouring plants, and long distances in 'seed' used for planting.
Cultural control: raised beds with deep ditches to drain soil and isolate disease outbreaks; clean seed from healthy crops; weed; 3-4-year crop rotation.
Chemical control: metalaxyl and phosphorous acid (possibly), but unlikely to be economic.