In 2010, an emerging disease similar to what had been previously described as celery leaf curl disease (CLCD) was identified in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Virginia with yield losses reportedly reaching 25 to 50% in some fields.

In research lead by Sara May, the fungus Colletotrichum acutatum sensu lato was identified as the cause of CLCD in Pennsylvania (Pollok et al. 2012). Prior to the 2010 report from the United States, CLCD had not been described outside of Queensland. Although Colletotrichum, as a genus, is one of the most studied groups of plant pathogens, limited literature exists regarding diseases on celery caused by fungi in the genus Colletotrichum and what is known is narrow in its scope and sporadic over a sixty year period. Sara is seeking to better understand biology, epidemiology and management of this particular pathogen or group of pathogens on celery.

Celery Leaf Curl Diseases

Figure 1. Downward curling and distortion of the leaves characteristic of celery leaf curl disease.