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Rhizoctonia leguminicola

Rhizoctonia leguminicola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Basidiomycetes
Subclass: Incertae sedis
Order: Corticiales
Family: Corticiaceae
Genus: Rhizoctonia'
Species: R. leguminicola
Binomial name
Rhizoctonia leguminicola
Gough & E.S. Elliott, (1956)

Rhizoctonia leguminicola is a plant pathogen that most often attaches itself to the Trifolium pratense or red clover. The fungus, also called Black Patch Disease, begins as small black patches on the leaves of red clover (often on the bottom of the leaves first) and spreads to cover the entire plant, killing it. The hyphae of this fungus is white and web-like in appearance, just like those of other fungi. The consumption of the fungus can be harmful to any grazing animals, especially to horses and cows.

Effects of consumption

If Rhizoctonia leguminicola is consumed excessively by horses or cattle, the most noticeable symptom will be an increase in salivation (drool). Other symptoms include "eye discharge, bloat, frequent urination, watery diarrhea, reduced milk production, weight loss and abortion."[1] Granted, the consumption must be exorbitant to cause these symptoms of such large animals, but if the pasture consists mainly of clover, and the hay also contains clover, the danger of more serious symptoms rises. This is known as slobbers, also slobbers syndrome, and is attributed in part to the alkaloid toxins slaframine and swainsonine.[2]


  1. http://www.shagbarkridge.com/info/slobber.html
  2. Croom WJ, Hagler WM, Froetschel MA, Johnson AD (May 1995). "The involvement of slaframine and swainsonine in slobbers syndrome: a review". Journal of Animal Science 73 (5): 1499–508. PMID 7665382. http://jas.fass.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=7665382. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 

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