Myrtle rust

Myrtle rust (Puccinia psidii) is a fungal disease that affects plants of the Myrtaceae family. It is native to South America and was first detected in Australia in New South Wales in 2010 and has subsequently spread far and wide.  It is now widespread in the Wet Tropics, where our warm, humid conditions are ideal for germination.

Myrtle rust can spread rapidly because it produces large numbers of small spores that can be dispersed over long distances by wind. It can also be spread by the movement of contaminated plants and soils, on people's clothing and vehicles, or by animals such as bats and bees and possums which come into contact with spores. It has the potential to infect large numbers of rainforest and open forest species in the Wet Tropics, with the ability to affect up to 75% of vegetation, including bush-tucker species, and the animals (like insects, birds, cassowaries, and gliders) that depend on them.

Myrtle rust attacks young, soft, actively-growing leaves, shoot tips and young stems, as well as fruits and flower parts of susceptible plants. The first signs of rust infection are tiny raised spots or pustules. After a few days, the pustules erupt into distinctive, fluffy-looking, egg-yolk yellow spores. Left untreated, the disease can cause deformed leaves, heavy defoliation of branches, dieback, stunted growth and even plant death.

You can read more about myrtle rust, its impacts and prevention on the Queensland Government page.

 

Presentations

You can also download some myrtle rust workshop presentations from Biosecurity Queensland and the Queensland Herbarium below:

 

News and Events

Click to expand

News and Events

Click to collapse
Corridor opens new avenues for Wet Tropics wildlife

Corridor opens new avenues for Wet Tropics wildlife

A vigorous tree planting session held in March is set to create a critical ecological corridor for Wet Tropics wildlife, linking the tropical coa... READ MORE

Research grants fund further study into Wet Tropics

Research grants fund further study into Wet Tropics

The plight of some of Australia's rarest marsupials headline the latest funding splash into the world's oldest rainforest.... READ MORE

Yellow crazy ants discovered at new site in Cairns

Yellow crazy ants discovered at new site in Cairns

Authorities are working to contain a small outbreak of yellow crazy ants discovered in a south Cairns suburb.... READ MORE