In 2010, the plant fungal pathogen Austropuccinia psidii was detected in Australia. It has since spread rapidly through the eastern states of Australia causing significant population declines in a number of susceptible species. However, there are still a number of potentially vulnerable species that lack the necessary field observations that are needed to accurately gauge the risk Austropuccinia psidii poses to them. Because of this, rapid field assessments of these species have been given the utmost priority. In the spring of 2018 (October) we carried out rapid field assessments for five high priority species. We did not observe active Austropuccinia psidii infection on any of the species at the time of assessment despite the majority of individuals having susceptible new flush. However, we did find evidence of significant previous infection (branch dieback) in the largest Archirhodomyrtus beckleri population we assessed. Therefore, to confirm our observations, it is necessary to re-assess this population when environmental conditions are more favourable for infection to occur in order.
- Myrtle Rust
- plant fungal pathogen