BAHIA, Brazil (May 5, 2004) — About 80 scientists from 10 countries were invited to discuss the future of natural rubber cultivation, especially concerning natural parasites to rubber trees.
Group Michelin hosted the research seminar about the parasites, especially Microcyclus ulei fungus, held May 4-6 in Bahia. Michelin's partners with the program included the Center for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development and the International Rubber Research and Development Board.
Michelin plans to present the results of its research program started in 1992 to combat the fungus.
The parasite represents a serious threat to the natural rubber industry in Latin and Central America, Michelin said, because it attacks rubber tree leaves and eventually kills the entire tree. Researchers have classified 46 varieties of the fungus. But researchers also have had advances in identifying resistant tree specimens.