Managing myrtle rust and its impacts in Australia

Myrtle rust Oct 2011 017

The project ‘Managing myrtle rust and its impacts in Australia (2063)‘ was recently commissioned by the Plant Biosecurity CRC. This project aims to develop and deliver a nationally standardised myrtle rust rating system for a range of myrtaceous species growing under different environmental conditions. This proposed work will enable affected stakeholders to better manage myrtle rust and its consequences in Australia.

Myrtle rust (eucalyptus/guava rust) caused by the fungus Puccinia psidii affects plants in the Myrtaceae family, which includes many Australian natives including eucalypts, paperbark, bottlebrush, tea tree and lilly pilly. This project will deliver a nationally standardised and endorsed method for scoring myrtle rust susceptibility in Australia, either in the glasshouse or in the field. The outcomes from this project will benefit the nursery and garden industry and other plant industries that rely on myrtaceous plants. Project outcomes will also benefit other stakeholders, including businesses, local governments and the community to help them manage myrtle rust and limit its impacts on plant production, trade and the environment in Australia. The outcomes of this project will also benefit ongoing research and development into myrtle rust, such as resistance breeding or selection programs.

The Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the NSW Department of Primary Industries are collaborating on the project. The majority of the research will be conducted at the Ecosciences Precinct at Dutton Park in Queensland, and there are project field sites in south east Queensland and northern New South Wales. John McDonald from Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland will be engaged with the project team for the duration of the trials.

If you would like more information about the project, contact the Project Leader, Dr Suzy Perry.