Parasitic algae

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symptoms of Cephaleuros parasiticus on guava
Author: Scot Nelson
Source: Wikimedia Commons

parasitic algae - Cephaleuros Kunze, 1827 ex Fries, 1832 - (red rusts)

The genus Cephaleuros includes 15-20 species of parasitic and pathogenic algae. They are found in warmer regions and grow on leaves and fruits, reducing the market value of fruits and causing leaf spots. Cephaleuros virescens is most commonly encountered. Damage is often superficial, but can be economically important in some cases.

Some species of Cephaleuros grow between the cuticle and the epidermis while others penetrate the cells. In the latter case they can cause chlorosis and branch dieback. Cephaleuros apparently spreads through rain splashes with zoospores and gametes germinating on the leaf surfaces and penetrating through small wounds.

For a review see Brooks et al. (2015).

The following diseases are currently entered in the system: