Myrtle rust

Myrtle Rust Eugeniafoliage The Australian Government invested $1.5 million from July 2011 to June 2013 in a Myrtle Rust Transition to Management Program, managed by PHA. The program comprised a range of research projects and communication campaigns to provide information and tools to mitigate the impacts of myrtle rust in natural, urban, and primary production environments.

The new arrangements included additional contributions by a number of state governments and research organisations. Biosecurity Queensland funded activities to increase knowledge of the impact of myrtle rust under local conditions, supported by community engagement activities. Research organisations, such as the AgriFutures Australia (then known as the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation) and Plant Biosecurity CRC, together with the tea tree industry, also funded complementary research to help manage the pest.

The key elements of the myrtle rust management program were:

  • a set of national communication activities to help stakeholders understand and adjust to the presence of myrtle rust, to enable long-term management strategies
  • targeted surveillance in non-infected areas for early detection of new infections
  • collection of samples of related species from fungal collections around the world to determine the phylogenetic relationship between myrtle rust and other members of the guava rust complex
  • full genome sequencing to allow the development of a new molecular based diagnostic protocol for myrtle rust and other members of the guava rust complex
  • screening of key environmental and commercial host species for susceptibility to myrtle rust, with the aim of identifying resistant species
  • research to determine the impact of myrtle rust in native and commercial environments
  • better understanding of the genetic basis for host plant resistance
  • the development of data for registration of chemicals for the control of myrtle rust
  • investigation of the feasibility of establishing a national resistance screening facility to develop breeding programs for beneficial species.

PHA worked with partners to coordinate these activities.


Assessing Myrtle Rust in a Lemon Myrtle Provenance Trial (Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, 2012)

Australian Nursery Industry Myrtle Rust Management Plan 2011 (Nursery and Garden Industry, 2011)

Elucidating the life cycle of myrtle rust: not that easy… (Morin et al. 2013)

Gathering efficacy data to indentify the most effective chemicals for controlling myrtle rust (Uredo rangelii) (Horwood et al. 2013)

Genome sequencing of myrtle rust Puccinia psidii sensu lato  (Tan et al. 2013)

Management plan for myrtle rust on the national parks estate (Office of Environment and Heritage NSW, 2011)

Molecular Tagging of Rust Resistance Genes in Eucalypts (Thumma et al.)

Myrtle rust in New Caledonia (Nakamura, 2013)

National Myrtle Rust Transition to Management Program Final Report – Genetic basis of pathogenicity in Uredo rangelii (Sandhu and Park, 2013)

Plan for Transition to Management of Myrtle Rust (2011)

Puccinia psidii in Queensland Australia (British Society for Plant Pathology, 2013)

Screening Corymbia populations for resistance to Puccinia psidii (Pegg et al. 2013)

Uredo rangelii life cycle (Morin, 2013)

Project executive summaries

Comparative genomics of Puccinia psidii (Glen et al.)

Discovery of genetic markers for resistance to infection by Uredo rangelii in species of Myrtaceae (other than members of the tribe Eucalyptaea) (Kulheim et al.)

Phylogenetic position of Puccinia psidii within the Pucciniales  (Liew et al.)

Meeting minutes

Myrtle Rust Transition to Management Group Meeting Minutes