1.1 About Hevea brasiliensis
Hevea brasiliensis Müell.Arg., is the scientific name of the rubber tree or Para rubber tree. This species falls under the family of Euphorbiaceae. The size of this tropical tree ranges from medium to large. It may grow up to 40 m or taller in the wild, but the trees planted commercially generally reach heights of around 17 m. The leaves are around 60 cm long, thick and leathery. They are also compound, with 3 elliptic leaflets with entire margins and prominent secondary veins. The inflorescence is many-flowered with a small white petal-less female flower in the center. The fruit is a large ellipsoidal capsule containing gray-brown, flattened ellipsoidal seeds. ...view middle of the document...
1.2 Some of the micro fungi usually found on the leaves of Hevea brasiliensis
According to Gazis and Chaverri (2010), there are more than 200 species of micro fungi found on the leaves of Hevea brasiliensis. Some examples are Phytophthora palmivora E.J. Butler, Phytophthora nicotianae var. parasitica, Glomerella cingulate (Stoneman) Spauld. and H.Schrenk, Corynespora cassicola (Berk. and M.A. Curtis) C.T. Wei, Corticium salmonicolor Berk. and Broome, Oidium heveae B.A. Steinm. and Fomes noxius Corner. There are also some notorious species of micro fungi that causes certain diseases such as the Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (Penz.) Sacc., Phytophthora meadii Mc Rae, Bipolaris heveae (Petch) Arx (Drechslera heveae (Petch) Ellis) and Microcyclus ulei (Hennings) von Arx.
1.3 Research problems
Hevea brasiliensis or the rubber tree is a major commercial tree in Malaysia. The rubber is used to create tires and inner tubes for automobiles, timber, in rubber goods industry and textile industry (Hong, 1996). However, it is not only human who are interested in the rubber tree, but some species of fungi too. They act as pathogens to spread diseases to the tree. To combat with these pathogens, first of all, the identification of the micro fungi is vital. Besides, there are less study done on the morphology and molecular description of these pathogens in Malaysia to do the identifications.
The objectives of this research are:
1. to identify and isolate the micro fungi on the leaves of Hevea brasiliensis.
2. to study the morphology and molecular aspects of the micro fungi.
3. to aid in the future researches on pathogens of Hevea brasiliensis.
Carris, L. M., C. R. Little, and C. M. Stiles. 2012. Introduction to Fungi. The Plant Health Instructor. DOI:10.1094/PHI-I-2012-0426-01
Chaverri, P. and Gazis, R. (2010). Diversity of funga lendophytes in leaves and stems of wild rubber trees(Hevea brasiliensis) in Peru. Fungal Ecology 3, 240-254.
Chee K. H. and Holliday P. 1986. South American leaf blight...