Pleosporales » Pleosporaceae » Exserohilum

Exserohilum turcicum

Exserohilum turcicum (Pass.) K.J. Leonard & Suggs, Mycologia 66(2): 291 (1974).

Helminthosporium turcicum Pass., Boln Comiz. Agr. Parmense 10: 3 (1876).

           Index Fungorum number: IF 314060; Facesoffungi number: FoF 00519, Fig. 1

Description: see Ariyawansa et al. (2015).

Material considered: see Ariyawansa et al. (2015).



Fig. 1 Exserohilum turcicum (Ex herbarium: IMI 69726, holotype; re-illustrated from Ariyawansa et al. 2015). a. Herbarium material. b. Conidiophores and conidia on leaf surface of Zea mays. c. Conidiophores. d. Conidiophore and conidium. e. i Immature and mature conidia. Scale bars: b = 200 μm, c, d, h, i = 50 μm, e–g = 20 μm


Importance and distribution

Exserohilum turcicum causes northern corn leaf blight (Turgay et al. 2020, Kutawa et al. 2017). Exserohilum produces a peptide comprising three amino acids mainly glycine-serine-glutamine, which inhibit chlorophyll synthesis in corn leaves (Bashan et al. 1995). Exserohilum also produces Monocerin, a phytotoxin which inhibited seedling growth (Robeson & Strobel 1982).


There are 38 Exserohilum epithets in Index Fungorum (2022), but some have been transferred to Curvularia and Sporidesmiella. Exserohilum comprises 35 species occurring on Arecaceae, Musaceae and Poaceae. Exserohilum is known from Africa (Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan), Asia (India (Bangladesh), Malaysia, Thailand), Australia, Europe (Italy), South America (Colombia, Venezuela) and the United States (Florida, Virginia).



Ariyawansa HA, Thambugala K, Manamgoda D, Jayawardena R et al. 2015 – Towards a natural classification and backbone tree for Pleosporaceae. Fungal Diversity 71, 85–139.

Bashan B, Levy RS, Cojocaru M, Levy Y. 1995 – Purification and structural determination of a phytotoxic substance from Exserohilum turcicum. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 47, 225–235. 10.1006/pmpp.1995.1054

Bashir Kutawa A, Sijam K, Ahmad K, Seman Z, Firdaus S, Ab Razak S, Abdullah N. 2017 –Characterization and pathological variability of Exserohilum turcicum responsible for causing northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) disease in Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Microbiology 13, 41–49.

Leonard KJ, Suggs EG. 1974 – Setosphaeria prolata, the ascigerous state of Exserohilum prolatum. Mycologia 66, 281–297.

Robeson D, Strobel G. 1982 – Monocerin, a phytotoxin from Exserohilum turcicum (= Drechslera turcica). Agricultural and Biological Chemistry 46, 2681–2683.

Turgay EB, Büyük O, Tunali B. 2020 – Detection of the race of Exserohilum turcicum [(Pass.) K.J. Leonard & Suggs] causing northern leaf blight diseases of corn in Turkey. Journal of Plant Pathology 102, 387–393.

Wijayawardene NN, Crous PW, Kirk PM, Hawksworth DL et al. 2014 – Naming and outline of Dothideomycetes–2014 including proposals for the protection or suppression of generic names. Fungal Diversity 69, 1–55.



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