Agriculture: Cole Crops Pest Management Guidelines

White Rust

  • Albugo candida
  • Symptoms and Signs

    The fungus infects leaves and floral parts, causing distinctive white, raised pustules to form underneath the plant epidermis. These blisterlike pustules sometimes result in twisted, deformed growth of the stem, leaves, or flowers. When mature, the epidermis covering the pustule will rupture, releasing powdery white sporangia (a type of spore) that can be carried by winds or splashing water onto neighboring host plants. Severely infected leaves can wither and die.

    Comments on the Disease

    The white rust pathogen of crucifers infects only plants in this host group, including arugula, bok choy, broccoli raab (rapini), Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, Japanese or mizuna-type mustards, radish, tah tsai, and turnip. However, economic damage is only found on the crucifer crops in which the leaves are marketed. If free moisture and cool temperatures are present, the sporangia germinate by producing several smaller motile spores (zoospores) that swim and enter susceptible young tissues. Because A. candida is dependent on cool, wet conditions, the disease is consistently more severe during winter and early spring months. In addition to sporangia, A. candida also produces a second type of spore, the oospore, that can resist drying conditions and enable the fungus to survive in a dormant state in soil or crop residue. The white rust pathogen exists in the form of distinct races.


    White rust-resistant cultivars do not appear to be available for the host plants grown in California. Reducing leaf moisture by avoiding sprinkler irrigation will not prevent white rust, but keeping leaves dry may reduce disease severity. For sensitive crops such as arugula and rapini, avoid planting in fields that have a history of white rust problems; soilborne oospores may result in severe disease. Fungicides may be appropriate in some situations on leafy crucifer crops. The same fungicides that control downy mildews are also effective against white rust.

    Common name Amount per acre REI‡ PHI‡
    (Example trade name) (hours) (days)
    Not all registered pesticides are listed. The following are ranked with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least likely to cause resistance are at the top of the table. When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to the pesticide's properties and application timing, honey bees, and environmental impact. Always read the label of the product being used.
      (Ridomil Gold EC) 1–2 pt 48 0
      MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Phenylamide (4)
      COMMENTS: Apply as a soil application at planting; can be preplant incorporated or applied as a soil surface spray after planting.
      (Ridomil Gold/Bravo 76.5) 1.5 lb 48 7
      MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Multi-site contact (M5) and phenylamide (4)
      (Aliette) Label rates 12 3
      MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Phosphonate (33)
      COMMENTS: Do not tank mix with copper compounds.
    D. COPPER#
      (various products) Label rates See label 0
      MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NAME (NUMBER1): Multi-site contact (M1)
      COMMENTS: Not all copper compounds are approved for use in organic production; be sure to check individual products.
    Restricted entry interval (REI) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (PHI) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of the two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
    # Acceptable for organically grown produce.
    1 Group numbers are assigned by the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) according to different modes of action. Fungicides with a different group number are suitable to alternate in a resistance management program. For fungicides with mode-of-action group numbers 1, 4, 9, 11, or 17, make no more than one application before rotating to a fungicide with a different mode-of-action group number; for fungicides with other group numbers, make no more than two consecutive applications before rotating to a fungicide with a different mode-of-action group number.
    Text Updated: 06/07
    Treatment Table Updated: 11/08