Pseudocercospora ulei

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symptoms and life cycle of Pseudocercospora ulei on leaves of rubber trees, right column details - top row: macroconidial stage on immature leaves, middle row: spermogonia on near mature leaves, bottom row: ascostromata on mature leaves (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Braz Tavares da Hora Júnior et al.
Source: PLoS ONE (2014) 9 (8) e104750

Pseudocercospora ulei (Henn.) Hora Junior & Mizubuti 2014

This fungus is found in South and Central America and causes South American leaf blight of rubber. In infected trees leaves drop prematurely and growth can stop completely. Severe infections lead to die-back and death of the trees. The disease severely restricts rubber cultivation in South America. Although it is still absent from rubber plantations in Asia and Africa, it is also a threat to those areas because they grow highly susceptible cultivars. However, progress is being made in identifying sources of resistance to the disease.

Mainly the young leaves become infected. These develop grayish-green spots on the underside of leaves where asexual bicellular conidia are formed. These disperse short distances through the air and also spread the fungus within the tree. Sexual reproduction takes place in older leaves and results in the production of characteristic masses of dark ascospores on the leaves. These ensure long distance dissemination and long-term survival of the fungus.

Synonyms
Fusicladium heveae
Fusicladium macrosporum
Microcyclus ulei

For a review see Guyot & Le Guen (2018)

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Südamerikanische Blattkrankheit des Kautschukbaums
• English: South American leaf blight of rubber
• Español: enfermedad sudamericana de hojas del cauchero
• Français: flétrissure sudaméricaine des feuilles de l'hévéa
• Português: mal-das-folhas da seringueira