Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Austropuccinia psidii
(myrtle rust)



Austropuccinia psidii (myrtle rust)


  • Last modified
  • 27 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Austropuccinia psidii
  • Preferred Common Name
  • myrtle rust
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Fungi
  •     Phylum: Basidiomycota
  •       Subphylum: Pucciniomycotina
  •         Class: Pucciniomycetes
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Austropuccinia psidii is a rust fungus with a wide and expanding host range within the Myrtaceae, with over 440 host species currently known (

  • Principal Source
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Austropuccinia psidii (G. Winter) Beenken

Preferred Common Name

  • myrtle rust

Other Scientific Names

  • Bullaria psidii (G. Winter) Arthur & Mains
  • Dicaeoma psidii (G. Winter) Kuntze
  • Puccinia psidii G. Winter
  • Uredo rangelii J.A. Simpson, K. Thomas & C.A. Grgurinovic

International Common Names

  • English: Eucalyptus rust; guava rust
  • Spanish: roya de la guayaba; roya del guayabo
  • French: rouille du goyavier

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: ferrugem do eucalipto
  • Japan: sabi-byo
  • New Caledonia: rouille des myrtacées
  • USA/Hawaii: ohia rust

EPPO code

  • PUCCPS (Puccinia psidii)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Austropuccinia psidii is a rust fungus with a wide and expanding host range within the Myrtaceae, with over 440 host species currently known (Carnegie and Lidbetter, 2012; Morin et al., 2012; Pegg et al., 2014). Like many rusts, urediniospores of A. psidii can be wind-dispersed over long distances. Viable spores have been detected on clothing and personal effects following visits to rust-affected plantations (Langrell et al., 2003), and this is a viable pathway for dispersal. Furthermore, there are several instances of (accidental) long-distance movement of A. psidii on diseased plants, both within and between continents (Loope et al., 2007; Kawanishi et al., 2009; Carnegie and Cooper, 2011; Zambino and Nolan, 2012). Under sub-optimal conditions, the rust can remain un-symptomatic within plants for more than a month (Carnegie and Lidbetter, 2012). This combination of wide host range and ease of long-distance dispersal make A. psidii a successful invasive pathogen. It has spread quickly once established in new countries, including Jamaica (MacLachlan, 1938), Hawaii (Uchida and Loope, 2009), Australia (Carnegie and Cooper, 2011; Pegg et al., 2014) and New Caledonia (DAVAR Nouvelle-Calédonie, 2014). Severe impact on a range of Myrtaceae has been recorded in amenity plantings, commercial plantations and the native environment. A. psidii was first identified as an invasive pathogen in the 1930s when it caused extensive damage to allspice (Pimenta dioica) plantations in Jamaica (Smith, 1935; MacLachlan, 1938). A. psidii has been identified as a quarantine risk for some time in many countries including Australia (Australian Quarantine Service, 1985; Grgurinovic et al., 2006), South Africa (Coutinho et al., 1998) and New Zealand (Kriticos and Leriche, 2008).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Fungi
  •         Phylum: Basidiomycota
  •             Subphylum: Pucciniomycotina
  •                 Class: Pucciniomycetes
  •                     Order: Pucciniales
  •                         Family: Sphaerophragmiaceae
  •                             Genus: Austropuccinia
  •                                 Species: Austropuccinia psidii

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Puccinia psidii was described from Psidium guajava (as Psidium pomiferum) by Winter in 1884. There have since been approximately 25 species of rust (mostly Puccinia or Uredo) described from Myrtaceae that are now considered synonyms of P. psidii (Walker 1983; Hennen et al., 2005; Simpson et al., 2006). Many of these were named after the host species they were found on. In 2006 Simpson et al. described Uredo rangelii based on two herbarium specimens from South and Central America previously determined as uredinial P. psidii but having urediniospores with a smooth patch (tonsure) in contrast to typical P. psidii that have completely echinulate urediniospores (Walker, 1983; Simpson et al., 2006). It is now accepted that the tonsure is a variable character, being identified in collections from a broad geographic range, including South and North America, Australia and South Africa (Carnegie and Cooper, 2011; Pérez et al., 2011; Zambino and Nolan, 2012; Roux et al., 2013). Recent molecular analysis has revealed no distinction between “U. rangelii” from Australia and P. psidii from numerous collections in Brazil, Hawaii and Uruguay (Carnegie et al., 2010a; Pegg et al., 2014).

Many common names have been ascribed to P. psidii: the first being guava rust, since the rust was described from common guava (Psidium guajava). In Brazil during the 1970s P. psidii became a major disease in eucalypt plantations, and hence the common name “ferrugem do eucalipto” (Eucalyptus rust) was coined (Ferreira, 1983). This was later commonly used globally, especially in Australia and South Africa where the threat to native and plantation eucalypts was a concern (Coutinho et al., 1998; Grgurinovic et al., 2006; Magarey et al., 2007). When P. psidii was detected in Hawaii in 2005 (Killgore and Heu, 2007), the initial concern was the threat to the native Metrosideros polymorpha ('ohi'a), a major forest species on the islands, and it was thus called ohia rust. When P. psidii was detected on M. polymorpha in Japan, Kawanishi et al. (2009) proposed the name sabi-byo of ohia. In 2010 P. psidii was identified (as U. rangelii) in Australia, and the common name provided was myrtle rust (Carnegie et al., 2010b), based on the common name of the host of the type of U. rangelii, common myrtle (Myrtus communis) (Simpson et al., 2006). When Roux et al. (2013) reported the discovery of P. psidii in South Africa, they proposed that the disease it causes should be referred to as myrtle rust, as “this captures the occurrence of the pathogen on a very wide host range including numerous genera and species of Myrtales”. In New Caledonia it is called rouille des myrtacées (DAVAR Nouvelle-Calédonie, 2014).

Several strains or biotypes/races of P. psidii are known to exist. Numerous authors have conducted cross-inoculation studies to provide evidence of variability in virulence of different strains of rust on a range of hosts (MacLachlan, 1938; Marlatt and Kimbrough, 1979; Ferreira, 1983; Coelho et al., 2001; Rayachhetry et al., 2001; Aparecido et al., 2003a). For example, isolates of P. psidii collected from Psidium guajava (guava) in Brazil did not infect Eucalyptus and vice versa (Ferreira, 1983). In Jamaica, two strains infected Pimento spp. (all-spice) and Syzygium spp. (rose apple), respectively, but neither infected Psidium guajava (MacLachlan, 1938). Xavier (2002) identified three races of P. psidii in Brazil by testing the virulence of 32 isolates - from a range of locations and hosts - on five different Myrtaceae species. Furtado and Marino (2003) identified four races. These races are now used operationally in Brazil to select rust-resistant Eucalyptus clones for commercial planting. A new race has recently been discovered in Brazil during routine screening of commercial eucalypt clones (Graça et al., 2011).

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that P. psidii is not correctly placed in the Puccinaceae, even though teliospore morphology firmly places P. psidii within Puccinia.  Merwe et al. (2008) were the first to suggest, using molecular phylogeny based on ß-tub 1, that P. psidii did not belong in Puccinaceae. More recent molecular studies, using several gene regions and multiple isolates in studies specifically designed to address this issue, clearly show that P. psidii does not fall within the generic boundaries of Puciniaceae (Pegg et al., 2014; Liew et al., 2014). A new genus, Austropuccinia, has been erected for the myrtle rust P. psidii, placed within the redefined family Sphaerophragmiaceae (Beenken, 2017). The current preferred name for this pathogen is Austropuccinia psidii.


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Detailed descriptions have been supplied by Walker (1983), Simpson et al. (2006) and Pegg et al. (2014) and in reviews by Coutinho et al. (1998) and Glen et al. (2007). Lesions mainly appear on young, actively growing leaves and shoots, but also on flowers and fruits. Often the first sign of infection is chlorotic flecks on leaves and shoots, followed by the production of masses of bright yellow urediniospores; more rarely yellow-brown teliospores are produced, often intermingled with urediniospores. Lesions often turn red-purple then grey with age, and often have a purple or dark brown margin. Lesions tend to be angular in shape, extending through the leaf, and more often coalescing. Uredinia are 0.1-0.5 mm diam., amphigenous, yellowish (but fade to pale tan when old), more common and larger on the abaxial surface, subepidermal becoming erumpent and up to 500 μm. Urediniospores vary from globose, ellipsoidal to ovoid and obpyriform, are yellowish, 14-27 x 14-29 μm, finely echinulate, with or without a tonsure; germ pores have not been observed. Telia are 0.1-0.5 mm diam., subepidermal to erumpent, abaxial, pulvinate and yellowish-brown. Teliospores are 22-50 x 14-28 μm, cylindrical to ellipsoidal, with a rounded apex, yellowish brown, 2-celled, constricted at the septum and pediculate. Basidia are cylindrical, up to 110 μm long, 6-8 μm wide, hyaline, 4-celled, produced from each cell of the teliospores, apically in upper cell and laterally in lower cell. Basidiospores are globose to pyriform, 8-11 μm, hyaline and smooth.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


ChinaPresentIntroducedCABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
-HainanPresentIntroduced2007Zhuang and Wei, 2011; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014Reported on cultivated Syzygium jambos in a park. No evidence of infection on cultivated Psidium guajava
IndiaAbsent, unreliable recordUpadhyay and Bordoloi, 1975, publ. 1976; Walker, 1983; EPPO, 2014
IndonesiaPresentHardiyanto and Tridasa, 2000; McTaggart et al., 2016; du Plessis et al., 2017
JapanPresentIntroduced2007Kawanishi et al., 2009; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014On cuttings of Metrosideros polymorpha
TaiwanAbsent, unreliable recordWang, 1992; EPPO, 2014


South AfricaRestricted distributionIntroduced2013Roux et al., 2013; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014On Myrtus comunis from a single location

North America

MexicoPresentLeόn-Gallegos and Cummins, 1981; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
USARestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced2005Mellano, 2006; Zambino and Nolan, 2012; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
-FloridaWidespreadIntroduced1977 Invasive Marlatt and Kimbrough, 1979; Rayachhetry et al., 2001; Rayamajhi et al., 2010; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
-HawaiiWidespreadIntroduced2005 Invasive Uchida et al., 2006; Uchida and Loope, 2009; Anderson, 2012; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014

Central America and Caribbean

British Virgin IslandsAbsent, unreliable recordEPPO, 2014A record from EPPO (2013) has not been included in the more recent CABI/EPPO (2014) map
Costa RicaPresentStéfano et al., 1998; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
CubaPresentSeaver and Chardón, 1926; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
DominicaPresentIntroduced1945Baker and Dale, 1948; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
Dominican RepublicPresentKern et al., 1933; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
GuatemalaPresentSchieber and Sanchez, 1968
JamaicaWidespreadIntroduced1930? Invasive Smith, 1935; MacLachlan, 1938; Simpson et al., 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
PanamaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
Puerto RicoPresentMacLachlan, 1938; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
Trinidad and TobagoPresentBaker and Dale, 1951; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
United States Virgin IslandsPresentCABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014

South America

ArgentinaPresentFonzo, 1946; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
BrazilWidespreadNativeWinter, 1884; Joffily, 1944; Ferreira, 1983; Graça et al., 2013; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
-AmapaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2014
-BahiaWidespreadGraça et al., 2013; CABI/EPPO, 2014
-Espirito SantoWidespreadGraça et al., 2013; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
-Minas GeraisWidespreadGraça et al., 2013; CABI/EPPO, 2014
-ParaPresentHennen et al., 2005
-ParanaWidespreadGraça et al., 2013
-PernambucoPresentCABI/EPPO, 2014
-Rio de JaneiroWidespreadGraça et al., 2013; CABI/EPPO, 2014
-Rio Grande do SulWidespreadGraça et al., 2013; CABI/EPPO, 2014
-Santa CatarinaPresentGraça et al., 2013
-Sao PauloWidespreadGraça et al., 2013; CABI/EPPO, 2014; Pieri et al., 2016
ColombiaPresentMayor, 1913; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
EcuadorPresentStevenson, 1926; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
ParaguayPresentSpegazzini, 1884; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
UruguayWidespreadNative Not invasive Spegazzini, 1889; Pérez et al., 2011; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
VenezuelaPresentChardόn and Toro, 1934; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014; Mohali and Aime, 2016


AustraliaRestricted distributionIntroduced2010CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentIntroduced2015Westerway, 2016
-Lord Howe Is.Present, few occurrencesIntroduced2016Holloway, 2016
-New South WalesWidespreadIntroduced2010 Invasive Carnegie et al., 2010b; Carnegie and Cooper, 2011; Carnegie and Lidbetter, 2012; CABI/EPPO, 2014; EPPO, 2014
-QueenslandWidespreadIntroduced2010 Invasive CABI/EPPO, 2014; Pegg et al., 2014
-TasmaniaPresent, few occurrencesIntroducedBiosecurity Tasmania, 2017
-VictoriaPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced2011DEPI Victoria, 2014Restricted to nurseries, gardens and amenity plantings
New CaledoniaWidespreadIntroduced2013 Invasive Giblin, 2013; IPPC, 2013; CABI/EPPO, 2014; DAVAR Nouvelle-Calédonie, 2014; EPPO, 2014
New ZealandPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced2017EPPO, 2018

History of Introduction and Spread

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Although originally described from Brazil, it can be assumed that A. psidii is endemic to neighbouring countries. Its detection (spread?) in countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean can be tracked via publications reporting it (Simpson et al., 2006): Paraguay (1884), Uruguay (1889), Ecuador (1891), Colombia (1913), Puerto Rico (1913), Cuba (1926), Dominican Republic (1933), Jamaica (1933), Venezuela (1934), Argentina (1946), Dominica (1948), Trinidad and Tobago (1951), Guatemala (1968), El Salvador (1987) and Costa Rica (1998). It is likely that A. psidii was present in El Salvador and Costa Rica for some time prior to being reported. In North America, A. psidii was reported in Mexico in 1981 (Léon-Gallegos and Cummins, 1981), Florida in 1977 (Marlatt and Kimbrough, 1979), Hawaii in 2005 (Killgore and Heu, 2007) and California in 2006 (Mellano, 2006), although likely present there prior to 2006. The introduction into California is likely to have been from the live plant trade or foliage trade from Florida, based on data on interceptions and nursery detections (Zambino and Nolan, 2012). The introduction to Hawaii is also likely to have been from the live plant trade or foliage trade (Loope et al., 2007; Loope and Rosa, 2008), most likely from mainland USA. Currently A. psidii is restricted to the south-east of Florida, has a restricted distribution in California, but has spread throughout the islands in Hawaii.

In 2007 A. psidii was detected on rooted cuttings of Metrosideros polymorpha in Japan (Kawanishi et al. 2009), again most likely imported in the live plant trade. No further reference to its distribution in Japan has been found however. In 2011, A. psidii was reported from southern China from collections in 2009 (Zhuang and Wei, 2011). In 2010, A. psidii reached Australia (Carnegie et al., 2010b), and is now widespread along the east coast (Carnegie and Cooper, 2011; Pegg et al., 2014). There is no indication of the pathway of entry into Australia. In 2013, A. psidii was reported from both South Africa, where its distribution is restricted (Roux et al., 2013) and New Caledonia (IPPC, 2013), where it has now spread throughout the islands (DAVAR Nouvelle-Calédonie, 2014).


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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
California Florida <2006 Cut flower trade (pathway cause) ,
Nursery trade (pathway cause)
Yes No Mellano (2006); Zambino and Nolan (2012) Accidental
Hawaii USA 2005 Cut flower trade (pathway cause) ,
Nursery trade (pathway cause)
Yes No Loope et al. (2007) Accidental, from mainland USA
Japan 2007 Cut flower trade (pathway cause) ,
Nursery trade (pathway cause)
No No Kawanishi et al. (2009) Accidental
USA 2007 Cut flower trade (pathway cause) ,
Nursery trade (pathway cause)
No No Kawanishi et al. (2009) Accidental
Victoria New South Wales 2011 Cut flower trade (pathway cause) ,
Nursery trade (pathway cause)
Yes No Accidental. D Smith, DEPI, Australia, personal communication, 2014

Risk of Introduction

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Quarantine precautions were in place in Australia in 1985 against the introduction of A. psidii on plants and seeds of a number of susceptible genera, including Eucalyptus (Australian Quarantine Service, 1985). In 2004, Australia suspended trade in timber of species of Eucalyptus from countries with A. psidii because viable spores had been recovered from timber imports from Brazil (Grgurinovic et al., 2006). There are current restrictions on the importation of Myrtaceae from guava rust/eucalyptus rust (A. psidii) countries ( A. psidii is listed as a quarantine pest under restrictions on importation of certain Myrtaceae into New Zealand ( Strict quarantine measures were recommended by Coutinho et al. (1998) to prevent the entry of A. psidii into countries where it does not occur.

When A. psidii was first detected in Hawaii, a 12-month Plant Quarantine Interim Rule was enacted in 2007, which restricted importation of all Myrtaceae into Hawaii ( This has since expired. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture leadership is currently behind establishing a permanent rule restricting Myrtaceae imports (e.g., At the Federal level, there has been a push to make A. psidii an Actionable Pest, which would restrict diseased plants entering Hawaii from guava rust countries such as Brazil. If A. psidii is a non-actionable and non-reportable pest in the US, foliage and flowers of Myrtaceae can move freely into the United States (often via the ports of Miami and Los Angeles), and from state to state, and hence into Hawaii (Loope, 2010); or even directly into Hawaii. A. psidii has recently been made federally actionable for imports destined for Hawaii; but this does not affect domestic shipments. Authorities in Hawaii are also developing a proposal to have “Myrtaceae to Hawaii” added to the NAPPRA (Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis) list; this category lists taxa of “plants for planting” whose importation is not authorized pending pest risk analysis. This is further legislation to reduce the chance of new strains entering Hawaii from international sources (Burnett et al., 2012).

Grgurinovic et al. (2006) discussed the possible pathways for A. psidii to enter Australia, and these would apply globally. In 2004, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) recovered viable spores of A. psidii from timber, plastic wrapping and external surfaces of a shipping container of timber imports from Brazil. Contamination likely occurred when the products and containers were close to large amounts of A. psidii inoculum in Brazil. Trade in timber imports of Eucalyptus to Australia from countries with A. psidii was immediately suspended. Lana et al. (2012), however, dispute the premise that viable spores would survive as a contaminant on a long sea journey.

Other pathways of entry for A. psidii include movement of host plants, either regulated or unregulated, movement of people and long-distance dispersal via air currents (Grgurinovic et al., 2006). The live plant or foliage trade is the largest risk for movement of A. psidii. Although typical symptoms of A. psidii (bright yellow pustules) would be difficult to miss by quarantine/biosecurity personnel during pre-shipment inspections, it is known that under sub-optimal conditions it can take up to 4-6 weeks for such symptoms to be visible from the time of infection (Carnegie and Lidbetter, 2012). As such, pustules may only become visible at the port of entry, or later. There is evidence of the introduction of A. psidii into new countries and provinces/states via movement of seemingly regulated infected plant material, including into Hawaii (Loop et al., 2007), Japan (Kawanishi et al. 2009), and the state of Victoria in Australia (D. Smith, DEPI, personal communication, 2014). In Australia, the distribution of the rust during the early stages of the incursion was directly related to movement of infected plants in the nursery trade (Carnegie and Cooper, 2011). Undeclared (unregulated) nursery stock and fruit of myrtaceous hosts is also a possible pathway.

People returning from areas where the rust is prevalent are also possible pathways for A. psidii. Large amounts of viable rust spores from diverse species can be transported on people’s clothing and luggage (Wellings et al., 1987; Sheridan, 1989; Holliday et al., 2013). Long-distance dispersal of spores in air currents is also a likely pathway for both intra- and inter-continental spread. Poplar rust (Melampsora medusae), for example, was detected in the Sydney region in Australia in 1972 and within 14 weeks had spread north to Queensland and south to Victoria (Walker et al., 1974). Within a year it was detected in New Zealand, believed to have been a result of trans-Tasman Sea spread of wind-borne urediniospores (Walker et al., 1974).


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All plants in the family Myrtaceae have the potential to be infected by myrtle rust. The disease in Australia has been identified from a range of native forest ecosystems including coastal heath, coastal and river wetlands, sand island ecosystems and littoral, montane, subtropical and tropical rainforests. The disease is prevalent in urban and peri-urban environments around major cities and towns and commonly reported from botanic gardens and nature reserves as well as backyard gardens. 

Habitat List

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Terrestrial – ManagedProtected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production) Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Natural
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Principal habitat Natural
Wetlands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Principal habitat Natural
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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Carnegie and Lidbetter (2012) provide the most recent published host list for A. psidii, based on extensive searches of overseas records (see references therein) as well as the then current host records from surveys in Australia obtained from State Government agencies. The taxonomy of Myrtaceae is in a constant flux, with accepted naming of genera and species often controversial (even within a country). Carnegie and Lidbetter (2012) use the classification according to Govaerts et al. (2011), and as such altered original published host names to fit this classification where necessary (providing synonyms for many). The Australian records have since increased based on host testing (Morin et al., 2012; Sandhu and Park, 2013; F. Giblin, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queenland, Australia, unpublished data, 2014) and increased detections during field surveys (Pegg et al., 2014), with new hosts also from New Caledonia (DAVAR Nouvelle-Calédonie, 2014). This brings the current global host list for A. psidii to 445 species, in 73 genera and 16 tribes of Myrtaceae. A proportion of these hosts are known only from host testing. For example, in Australia there are 346 host species (56 genera) known (Carnegie and Lidbetter, 2012; Morin et al., 2012; Pegg et al., 2014), with approximately 116 of these known only from host testing (Morin et al., 2012; Sandhu and Park, 2013; F. Giblin, unpublished data, 2014).

For reasons of space, the Host plants and Other Plants Affected table in this datasheet lists only the genera affected and the species for which full datasheets are included in Compendia.

The most highly susceptible species recorded to date are Syzygium jambos, Eugenia reinwardtiana, Agonis flexuosa, Gossia inophloia, Melaleuca quinquenervia, Rhodamnia rubescens, R. maideniana, R. angustifolia, Chamelaucium uncinatum and Decaspermum humile (Pegg et al., 2014) and Rhodomyrtus psidioides (Carnegie and Cooper, 2011).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Callistemon (Bottle brush)MyrtaceaeOther
Callistemon speciosusMyrtaceaeMain
Corymbia citriodora (lemon-scented gum)MyrtaceaeMain
Corymbia maculata (spotted gum)MyrtaceaeMain
Corymbia torelliana (cadaga)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus botryoides (southern mahogany)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus camaldulensis (red gum)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus cladocalyx (sugar gum)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus cloeziana (Gympie messmate)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus deglupta (kamarere)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus dunnii (Dunn's white gum)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus globulus (Tasmanian blue gum)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus gomphocephala (tuart)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus grandis (saligna gum)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus microcorys (Tallowwood)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus nitens (shining gum)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus paniculata (grey ironbark)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus pellita (red mahogany)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus pilularis (blackbutt)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus punctataMyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus robusta (swamp mahogany)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus saligna (Sydney blue gum)MyrtaceaeMain
Eucalyptus tereticornis (forest red gum)MyrtaceaeMain
Kunzea ericoides (kanuka)MyrtaceaeOther
Melaleuca quinquenervia (paperbark tree)MyrtaceaeMain
Metrosideros polymorphaMyrtaceaeMain
Pimenta dioica (allspice)MyrtaceaeMain
Psidium (guava)MyrtaceaeMain
Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava)MyrtaceaeOther
Psidium guajava (guava)MyrtaceaeMain
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Downy rose-myrtle)MyrtaceaeOther
Syzygium cumini (black plum)MyrtaceaeMain
Syzygium jambos (rose apple)MyrtaceaeMain

Growth Stages

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A. psidii attacks young, soft, actively-growing leaves, shoot tips and young stems. Fruit and flower parts are also susceptible. The first signs of rust infection are tiny spots or pustules. These symptoms can appear 2-4 d after infection. Symptoms can vary depending on the host species, susceptibility level within a host species, and age of the host leaf. After a few days, the pustules or uredinia erupt with the production of distinctive, yellow urediniospores. The infected area spreads radially outwards and multiple pustules eventually merge and coalesce with age. Secondary infections can occur within days but are usually confined to new young tissue, shoots and expending foliage. Left untreated, the disease can cause deformed leaves, heavy defoliation of branches, dieback, stunted growth and even plant death.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / extensive mould
Fruit / lesions: scab or pitting
Fruit / premature drop
Growing point / dieback
Growing point / discoloration
Growing point / distortion
Growing point / lesions
Inflorescence / blight; necrosis
Inflorescence / discoloration (non-graminaceous plants)
Inflorescence / lesions; flecking; streaks (not Poaceae)
Leaves / abnormal colours
Leaves / abnormal forms
Leaves / abnormal leaf fall
Leaves / fungal growth
Leaves / necrotic areas
Stems / dieback
Stems / discoloration
Stems / discoloration of bark
Stems / distortion
Stems / mould growth on lesion
Stems / necrosis
Stems / stunting or rosetting
Whole plant / plant dead; dieback

Biology and Ecology

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Reproductive Biology

The life cycle of A. psidii has been summarized and diagrammatically represented in reviews by Coutinho et al. (1998) and Glen et al. (2002), with a more recent study by Morin et al. (2014). A. psidii has a macrocyclic life cycle (Coutinho et al., 1998) and is considered to be autoecious (i.e. capable of completing its life cycle on species of Myrtaceae) with an incomplete life cycle, based on work by Figueiredo et al. (1984). However, basidiospores have not been confirmed to be capable of infecting Myrtaceae to provide unequivocal proof the rust is autoecious (Morin et al., 2014). Simpson et al. (2006) questioned the findings of Figueiredo et al. (1984), and believed A. psidii to be heteroecious, with an alternate host yet to be found.

Teliospores have been reported from the field and laboratory on a range of hosts in both its native and introduced ranges (Ferreira 1983; Perez et al., 2011; Carnegie and Lidbetter, 2012; Pegg et al., 2014; Alfenas et al., 2004; Morin et al., 2012; Aparecido et al., 2003). In Australia, teliospores appear to be more commonly observed in the field than occurs in Brazil (Pegg et al., 2014).

Urediniospores germinate in the presence of free water, in the absence of light, and at temperatures between 15 and 25°C (Ruiz et al., 1987a,b,c; Piza and Ribeiro, 1988). Following germination, an infection peg penetrates the host directly, usually between two epidermal cells (Hunt, 1968). The latent period is between 5 and 7 d (Alfenas et al., 1989). Rust pustules can mature to release spores in as little as 10-12 d (Alfenas et al., 2003).


Disease development is favoured by low temperatures (approx. 20°C), high relative humidity (80%) at night and high levels of airborne inoculum (Blum and Dianese, 2001). In a study on rose apple (Syzygium jambos), rust epidemics were shown to depend on the duration of leaf wetness in the dark and also on night temperatures during that same wetness period (Tessman et al., 2001). It is also necessary for spores to encounter a host plant during stages of active growth or flush, which can occur several times and at different times throughout the year depending on the host species and climatic conditions, with periods of rainfall promoting more active plant growth.

During drought for several months in Brisbane, Australia, the level of rust across the range of hosts declined but some patches still existed. Even the microclimate within a plant can be sufficient to maintain the rust. Fog and dew can also provide sufficient moisture for survival. When the rain returned, new plant growth occurred and the disease recovered rapidly (Pegg et al., 2014).

Environmental Requirements

Laboratory studies and research conducted in Brazil have suggested that urediniospores need moderate temperatures (8-27°C, ideally 13-22°C) for germination (Piza and Ribeiro, 1989). Low light conditions are also preferred, with at least 8 h of darkness required for a reasonable germination rate (Piza and Ribeiro, 1988). However, the temperature range for rust survival in Australia is thought to be broader than recorded elsewhere and than has been speculated in the modelling data; optimum temperatures for A. psidii survival in Australia have not yet been determined. The physiology of the plant and its response to climate is possibly more significant than the capability of the fungus alone.


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Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Albonectria rigidiuscula Hyperparasite Amorim et al., 1993

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Amorim et al. (1993) reported the pathogenicity and hyperparasitic action of Fusarium decemcellulare (Albonectria rigidiuscula) on A. psidii in guava; N. rigidiuscula was not pathogenic on guava.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

A. psidii can spread rapidly because it produces large numbers of small spores that can be dispersed over long distances by wind.

Vector Transmission

Animals such as birds, bats, possums and insects that have been in contact with rust spores can spread A. psidii. This pathogen has been reported to be transported over short distances by honey bees (Chapman, 1964; Carnegie et al., 2010b).

Accidental Introduction

The disease can also spread through the movement of:

·       infected or contaminated planting material, nursery stock, plant cuttings, flowers and germplasm

·       contaminated plant waste, timber, wood packaging and dunnage

·       contaminated equipment and tools used on or around plants (e.g. chainsaws, secateurs)

·       contaminated clothing, shoes and other personal effects

Initial detections in both New South Wales and Queensland, Australia, were focused around commercial operations including production and retail nurseries. Other focal points included amenity plantings in or near car parks at major tourist destinations, botanical gardens and revegetation areas using susceptible species.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Cut flower tradeAccidental movement on infected plant material Yes Yes Carnegie and Cooper, 2011; Loope, 2010; Loope et al., 2007
Habitat restoration and improvementAccidental movement on infected plant material during bush regeneration plantings Yes Carnegie and Cooper, 2011
HitchhikerAccidental as contaminant on timber, packaging and containers; on personal effects and movement from Yes Yes Carnegie and Cooper, 2011; Grgurinovic et al., 2006
Landscape improvementAccidental movement on infected plant material Yes Carnegie and Cooper, 2011
Nursery tradeAccidental, on infected plant material Yes Yes Carnegie and Cooper, 2011; Kawanishi et al., 2009; Loope, 2010; Loope et al., 2007; Zambino and Nolan, 2012

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx fruiting bodies; spores Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Fruits (inc. pods) fruiting bodies; spores Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Leaves fruiting bodies; spores Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants fruiting bodies; spores Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches fruiting bodies; spores Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Growing medium accompanying plants
True seeds (inc. grain)

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Loose wood packing material
Processed or treated wood
Solid wood packing material with bark
Solid wood packing material without bark

Economic Impact

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A. psidii has caused significant impact in Eucalyptus plantations in Brazil (Ferreira, 1983). The first big outbreak occurred in a nursery in 1973, where 400,000 E. grandis seedlings, of South African origin, were severely damaged (Ferreira, 1983). Subsequent outbreaks in the mid- to late-1970s lead to A. psidii being identified as one of the most serious disease of eucalypts in Brazil (Ferreira, 1983). Another large outbreak occurred in 1995-1996, where 50% of plants were severely damaged (Furtado and Marino, 2003). Several outbreaks occur annually in plantations, but these have decreased due to active management of eucalyptus rust. Up to 20% of trees within a plantation (the highly susceptible individuals) can be severely damaged and killed (Tommerup et al., 2003). E. Zauza (Suzano, Brazil, unpublished data) reported a loss in mean annual increment of 20 m3/ha in young eucalypt plantations in Brazil. Significant losses have also been reported in eucalypt plantations in Uruguay (Telechea et al., 2003).

In guava (Psidium guajava) plantations in Brazil, A. psidii can cause massive losses by infecting fruit, resulting in loss of production of up to 80-100% (Ribeiro and Pommer, 2004; Ferreira et al., 1997; Martins et al., 2011). Chemical control is necessary in many instances to ensure a productive and financially viable crop.

When a new strain arrived in Jamaica in the early 1930s, it caused massive losses to the all-spice (Pimenta dioica) industry, resulting in the closing of oil distilleries in higher altitude areas (MacLachlan, 1938).

In Hawaii, nurseries growing ‘ohi’a (Metrosideros polymorpha) can experience mortality as high as 10%, even following regular fungicide application (Burnett et al., 2012).

In Australia, the most severely impacted industry is currently essential oil production, specifically lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) (Carnegie and Cooper, 2011). Regular application of fungicide is required to control the rust, and this can lead to issues with fungicide residues. Another financial impact in Australia has been the increased use and reliance on fungicide application in commercial and retail nurseries.

A. psidii has been found in young Eucalyptus plantations in Australia but is currently not causing significant impact (Carnegie, 2014). There are however, likely financial impacts on timber (eucalypt) exporters due to quarantine restrictions on the importation of eucalypt timber into certain countries.

The long-term impact of myrtle rust in Australia is not known but industries such as nursery and garden, cut flower and foliage, forestry and timber, honey and pollination, bush foods and medicines, revegetation and tourism are all likely to be affected in some way. The quantum of these impacts is impossible to estimate until more is known about the disease, its host range, how it affects native myrtaceous species and how it behaves in the environment. The interaction between the pathogen and its hosts is complex and it is likely to take many years before the full impacts of the disease on industries, the environment and communities are evident.

Potential impacts include:

·         Nursery – trade restrictions, loss of species/varieties, increased costs for inspections and chemical control

·         Forestry – nurseries, large monocultures of susceptible hosts

·         Bush regeneration – new plantings (bush care, etc.) and natural regeneration (particularly following fire/storm damage)

·         Landscaping – housing estates, parks and gardens, playgrounds, road construction, building sites etc., treatment and removal of trees

·         Arboriculture – amenity value, cost of removal of infected trees

·         Cut flower/foliage – market access, loss of susceptible species

·         Bee/honey – impact on flowering, access to sites

·         Oil/fruit – susceptible species, increased production costs

·         Natural ecosystems – fauna and flora, ecotourism

Environmental Impact

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A. psidii is not known to cause significant damage to native Myrtaceae in its known countries of origin. Severe impact has occurred, however, to naïve hosts as A. psidii has invaded new areas. When new strains of A. psidii invaded Florida, USA, epiphytotics were reported on Melaleuca quinquenervia and Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, both exotic weeds in Florida (Rayachhetry et al., 1997; Rayamajhi et al., 2013). In Hawaii, recurrent epiphytotics on the exotic Szygium jambos results in dieback and death of mature, large trees at a landscape scale (Uchida and Loope, 2009). When P. psidii was first detected in Hawaii there was initial concern for native Metrosideros polymorpha and other native Myrtaceae (Loope, 2010). However, although damage is only minimal on naturally growing M. polymorpha, there is concern for the federally endangered and highly susceptible Eugenia reinwardtiana (Loope and Uchida, 2012).

In southern Florida and Hawaii, where A. psidii is exotic and widespread, there has been minimal impact to the endemic Myrtaceae in the native environment, with the most severe epiphytotics occurring on exotic weed species (Rayachhetry et al., 1997; Uchida and Loope, 2009; Rayamajhi et al., 2013). When A. psidii reached Australia, there was concern for the extensive myrtaceous flora, and this concern has been borne out in the intervening years. Although there has been significant impact to amenity plantings of exotic Myrtaceae, such as Syzygium jambos (Carnegie and Cooper, 2011; Pegg et al., 2014), the biggest concern is the highly susceptible species in the native bush. Severe impact has been observed on Rhodamnia rubescens (scrub turpentine) and Rhodomyrtus psidioides (native guava) throughout their native distribution in eastern Australia (Carnegie and Cooper, 2011; Carnegie and Libetter, 2012; Pegg et al., 2014), resulting in tree mortality. Several rare and endangered species are highly to extremely susceptible, including Backhousia oligantha, Gossia gonoclada and Rhodamnia angustifolia, with concerns for species survival (Pegg et al., 2014). There are multiple instances of A. psidii causing damage in National Parks, reserves and World Heritage Listed Areas (Carnegie and Cooper, 2011; Pegg et al., 2014). Current research is investigating the long-term impact of A. psidii on key Australian Myrtaceae and ecosystems.

In addition to the hosts included in the Threatened Species table, there are many other species within the Myrtaceae which are listed as Endangered (e.g. the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species ( ) includes 338 species within the Myrtaceae) however, susceptibility to myrtle rust is not known at this stage.

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Backhousia oliganthaNational list(s) National list(s)QueenslandPathogenicPegg et al., 2014
Callistemon formosusNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Eucalyptus argophloiaNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Eucalyptus camfieldiiNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Eucalyptus curtisiiNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Eugenia koolauensisUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiPathogenicLoope, 2010
Gossia fragrantissimaNational list(s) National list(s)New South WalesPathogenicCarnegie and Lidbetter, 2012
Gossia gonocladaNational list(s) National list(s)QueenslandPathogenicPegg et al., 2014
Gossia inophloiaNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Homoranthus papillatusNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Homoranthus prolixusNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Lenwebbia prominensNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Lenwebbia sp. Blackall RangeNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Leptospermum luehmanniiNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Melaleuca biconvexaNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Metrosideros punctataVU (IUCN red list: Vulnerable) VU (IUCN red list: Vulnerable)New CaledoniaPathogenic
Mitrantia bilocularisNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Piliocalyx eugenioidesEN (IUCN red list: Endangered) EN (IUCN red list: Endangered)New CaledoniaPathogenic
Rhodamnia angustifoliaNational list(s) National list(s)QueenslandPathogenicPegg et al., 2014
Rhodamnia glabrescensNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Rhodamnia pauciovulataNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Ristantia waterhouseiNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Sphaerantia discolorNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Stockwellia quadrifidaNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Syzygium aqueum (watery rose-apple)National list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Syzygium hodgkinsoniaeNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Syzygium macilwraithianumNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Syzygium mooreiNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Syzygium mulgraveanumNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Syzygium paniculatum (australian brush-cherry)National list(s) National list(s)New South WalesPathogenicCarnegie and Lidbetter, 2012
Syzygium velarumNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Uromyrtus australisNational list(s) National list(s)New South WalesPathogenicCarnegie and Lidbetter, 2012
Xanthostemon formosusNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic
Xanthostemon oppositifoliusNational list(s) National list(s)Pathogenic

Social Impact

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The impact of the disease within communities can be diverse. Many lifestyles embrace outdoor activities and myrtle rust may reduce the aesthetic and amenity value of green spaces. Some impacts might include:

·         Reduced public amenity with potential loss of green space due to vegetation reduction

·         Reduced recreational appeal and value due to poor plant health, dieback, reduction in fauna

·         Loss of identity and economic health of towns/regions dependent on the surrounding forest or natural environment

·         Potential impacts on rural and indigenous communities reliant on natural environment

·         Potential loss of iconic and endangered/threatened species

·         Possible safety issues due to poor tree health

·         Potential reduction in property values, where the aesthetic value of a property is affected

·         Cost of disease management or removal of infected plants and trees

·         Restricted access to recreational sites, national parks, etc.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Host damage
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Negatively impacts livelihoods
  • Reduced amenity values
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
  • Damages animal/plant products
Impact mechanisms
  • Pathogenic
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Invertebrate food


  • Biological control


  • Laboratory use
  • Research model


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Samples can be examined under a light microscope for sori and characteristic spores. Slides of sori and spores can be examined at ×400 for the presence of urediniospores, teliospores and basidiospores. Urediniospores can be further examined under oil immersion at ×1000 and by scanning electron microscopy as described by Pegg et al. (2008).

A molecular diagnostic protocol for A. psidii was developed by Langrell et al. (2008) using a species-specific, nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based detection assay, using two primer sets designed from the rRNA ITS region.

Detection and Inspection

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The primary symptom of myrtle rust is the appearance of yellow pustules (uredinia) on the upper and lower leaf surfaces of Myrtaceae, with more tending to be found on the lower surface. Pustules can also be found on stems, fruit and flowers. Slightly darker mustard-coloured pustules may indicate the teliospore stage of the fungus. After 1-2 weeks, the pustules begin to turn pale grey. From this stage, it is difficult to distinguish rust lesions from insect damage or other necrosis.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Prevention and Control

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SPS measures

A. psidii is a quarantine pathogen in most countries and, therefore, movement of plants and plant parts (seeds, rootstocks, etc.) is regulated, especially where the pathogen is not yet detected or where different strains of the pathogen may not be present.

Rapid response

In the event of a positive detection, eradication is only possible if the response is rapid and the pathogen is confined to a limited area and is in the very early stages of infection. As the pathogen produces wind-borne spores, spread can be rapid.

Public awareness

It is important that the nursery industry, forestry industry, scientific community, natural resource management community, revegetation groups and the general public are provided with information and tools to learn about myrtle rust so that educated decisions can be made relevant to their situation. At the same time, all of these stakeholders can play an important role in providing information relating to the impacts of myrtle rust in their community.


Cultural control and sanitary measures

Always ensure that clothing, equipment, vehicles and machinery are clean and free of plant debris before starting work in a new bushland area and clean when leaving and moving between sites. If possible, organise the work programme to account for measures to minimise the spread of myrtle rust, and allow for decontamination and cleaning requirements. Set up a 'wash down' area so people can wash their face and hands and clean their footwear when leaving the site. If there are multiple sites in an area, limit the movement of people and equipment between these sites.

Do not remove myrtaceous plant material from bushland.

If myrtle rust becomes established, eventually those plants which are highly susceptible will deteriorate in condition. Therefore, it is recommended that those plants are removed and disposed of appropriately. Do not use infected plants as mulch, as this may spread myrtle rust.

To minimise the potential spread of spores during infected plant removal, spray infected plants with an approved fungicide the day before intended removal. If it is not possible to treat with a fungicide, carefully wet the plant foliage to dampen any spores that are likely to be dispersed during the removal process.

The method of plant removal will depend on the size and number of plants:

·         small plants can be enclosed in a plastic bag to reduce spore dispersal before being pulled or dug out of the ground.

·         large plants can be cut into smaller pieces, wrapped in black plastic and placed in the sun for 3-4 weeks (solarisation). Alternatively, plant parts can be placed in plastic bags and sealed for offsite disposal.

Dispose of infected plants (or plant parts) by implementing any of the following options:

·         burying on-site (deep enough that decaying material can’t be disturbed for several weeks/months)

·         placing in general domestic waste bins or transporting in a covered vehicle/trailer to a general waste disposal site (not green waste)

·         securely covering and sealing the entire plant within black plastic (or similar) and placing in direct sunlight for 3-4 weeks (solarisation).

In order to reduce the inoculum levels of the rust, individuals might choose to remove healthy plants as a precaution. This is especially relevant for highly susceptible species which will eventually become infected. This is more important in nurseries and highly sensitive areas such as national parks and botanical gardens.

Chemical control

If myrtle rust becomes established a range of fungicides with the following active ingredients are currently available: triadimenol, triforine, mancozeb, azoxystrobin, copper oxychloride and propiconazole. Chemicals can be used as a preventative and/or curative measure and it is important to rotate them to maintain their usefulness and avoid resistance. Fungicide treatment will not be suitable for all situations (such as for large mature trees or in extensive bushland).

Host resistance

Several studies have been undertaken to identify resistance within species, cultivars, and provenances, etc. This work is particularly relevant for industries reliant on myrtaceous species such as forestry (Eucalyptus plantations), lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora), bush foods and oils (Melaleuca alternifolia, Syzygium anisatum, S. luehmannii), the nursery industry, and revegetation programmes, etc. Research is also investigating resistance genes utilised during the infection process.

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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The impact of P. psidii on Australian Myrtaceae is currently being quantified. 


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Links to Websites

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Myrtle Rust Transition to Management Program


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USA: University of Hawaii UH, Manoa, Honolulu,

USA: USDA Agricultural Research Service, USDA-ARS, Invasive Plant Reseach Lab., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

USA: USDA Forest Service, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, 1221 South Main Street, Moscow, ID 83843

Australia: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forests, DAFF, Brisbane, Qld

Australia: New South Wales Department of Primary Industry, NSW DPI, Sydney, NSW

Brazil: Federal University of Viçosa, UFV, 36570-000 Viçosa, Minas Gerais

Principal Source

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Draft datasheet under review


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08/05/14 Original text by:

Angus J. Carnegie, Biosecurity NSW, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Sydney, Australia

Fiona R. Giblin, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia

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