Cercospora arachidicola is a fungal ascomycete plant pathogen that causes early leaf spot of peanut.
Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea) originated in South America and are cultivated globally in warm, temperate and tropical regions.
All cultivars of peanuts are equally susceptible to peanut fungal pathogens; however, C. arachidicola is an economically important peanut pathogen and is responsible for significant economic losses in the peanut industry, more specifically in the Southeastern, Eastern, and the Southwestern United States.
Early leaf spot of peanut can drastically reduce yields, leading to economic downturn of the peanut crop economy.
Annual crop losses in the United States range anywhere from less than 1% to greater than 50% depending on disease management and treatment.