05 May 2010

DETECTION OF EMERGENCY PLANT PEST: Uredo rangelii (Myrtle rust)

The Nursery & Garden Industry Australia has issued a Pest Alert for the Australian Nursery Industry. Plant material sampled from a cut flower/foliage producer in NSW has been confirmed as Uredo rangelii (Myrtle rust). This is the first time this fungus has been found in Australia and is identified as a disease of significance in the Nursery Industry Biosecurity Plan.

This rust is known to infect a variety of genera in the family Myrtaceae. The current outbreak has been detected on cultivated plants of Callistemon (Bottlebrush), Agonis flexuosa, and Syncarpia (Turpentine). Overseas it has been known to affect Syzygium species, among others. Early identification of this rust is vital to eradication efforts.

A hotline number has been established for reporting symptoms, on wild or cultivated plants. A Nursery Industry Pest Alert Fact Sheet, with identication sheet and images is available at: www.ngia.com.au/files/news/Pest_Alert_and_Factsheet.pdf

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