Influence of host resistance and phenology on South American leaf blight of the rubber tree with special consideration of temporal dynamics

Abstract

South American leaf blight (SALB), the most dangerous disease of the rubber tree, is responsible for the lack of significant natural rubber production in South America and is a major threat to rubber tree plantations in Asia and Africa. Although the selection of resistant clones is the preferred disease control method, greater knowledge is required of the relationship between host and pathogen, in order to construct more durable resistance. Based on small-scale trials, this study set out to compare the dynamics of SALB on two highly susceptible and one moderately susceptible clone and to analyse the effect of host phenology on disease severity, at leaflet and flush scales. Clonal resistance was found to have a noticeable effect on disease severity, asexual sporulation and stromatal density at both leaflet and flush levels, and on disease dynamics at a leaflet level; time for symptom and sporulation appearance were longer on the moderately susceptible clone than on the susceptible clones. On the moderately susceptible clone, the stromatal density was largely dependent on disease severity. The phenology did not differ among the three clones and could not be considered as a factor in genetic resistance to SALB. However, for the three clones, the position of the leaflet in the flush affected the duration of the immature stages and the disease: the shorter the duration of leaflet development, the lower the disease severity, the sporulation intensity and the stromatal density.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the entire team at the Pointe-Combi experimental station for ensuring upkeep of the trials, along with Peter Biggins for the English translation of this article.

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Correspondence to Jean Guyot.

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Guyot, J., Cilas, C. & Sache, I. Influence of host resistance and phenology on South American leaf blight of the rubber tree with special consideration of temporal dynamics. Eur J Plant Pathol 120, 111 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-007-9197-6

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Keywords

  • Hevea brasiliensis
  • Microcyclus ulei
  • Epidemiology
  • Sporulation