Uredo rangelii

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Uredo rangelii
On Eugenia reinwardtiana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Pucciniomycetes
Order: Pucciniales
Family: Incertae sedis
Genus: Uredo
Species: U. rangelii
Binomial name
Uredo rangelii
J.A.Simpson, K.Thomas & Grgur. (2006)

Uredo rangelii, commonly known as myrtle rust, is a fungal plant pathogen native to South America that affects plants in the family Myrtaceae. It is a member of the fungal complex called the guava rust (Puccinia psidii) group.[1] The spores have a distinctive yellow to orange colour, occasionally encircled by a purple ring. They are found on lesions on new growth including shoots, leaves, buds and fruits. Leaves become twisted and may die. Infections in highly susceptible species may result in the death of the host plant.[2]

As of late 2013, it is infecting around 179 species in New South Wales and Queensland, from 41 genera (around 46% of genera in the Myrtaceae) in Australia.[3]


The rust was first described scientifically in 2006 by mycologists J.A. Simpson, K. Thomas, and Cheryl Grgurinovic.[4]

Development and symptoms[edit]

Myrtle rust is typically characterised by the appearance of urediniospores on the underside of the leaf, though urediniospores may also be found on the top of the leaf or on young stems.[1] Initially, the disease appears as small purple or red brown flecks with a faint chlorotic halo on the leaf surface, which coalesce to form bright yellow pustules. As the rust develops, these pustules often fade to a grey brown colour.[3] A high degree of pustule coalescence can result in distortion of the leaf.[1] Myrtle rust also makes plants more susceptible to secondary infections, which may occur within days of the initial appearance of the pustules.[3]

Favourable conditions that increase the infection rate include: new tissue; high humidity; free water on plant surface for more than 6 hours; moderate temperatures, around 15–25 °C. Low light conditions (minimum of 8 hours) after spore contact can increase germination.[3]

The main ways in which myrtle rust can be spread are by: the movement of infected plant material, the movement of contaminated equipment, wind, water and gravity, animals, humans and/or vehicles.[5]

Myrtle rust may remain on a single host plant to complete its life cycle, which can be as short as 10–14 days.[3]

As an invasive species[edit]

Myrtle rust was first recorded in Australia in mid-2010 and currently poses a major threat to the continent's ecosystem given that almost 80 per cent of Australian native trees are Mytraceae, most indigenous species rely on healthy trees for their survival. Additionally it poses a major threat to Australia's primary industry sector. Its current range includes much of the eastern coastal fringe of the Australian mainland.

Initial detection was in April 2010 in Gosford in the Central Coast region of New South Wales.[1][6] It was initially quarantined and eradication thought viable. The New South Wales government spent $5 million attempting to eradicate the disease. However, efforts to contain it failed and it spread rapidly north and south along the eastern coast. In response to the increasing threat, a Myrtle Rust National Management Group was formed on 2 July 2010 with the aim of eradication however due to the extent of its spread at that point of time, the group conceded that it had become impossible to eradicate.[7]

By December 2010, it had significantly spread north along the coast and recorded in South East Queensland[8][9] with isolated cases in Far North Queensland cities of Cairns and Townsville. In January 2012, an isolated myrtle rust outbreak was reported in Victoria[10] beginning in Melbourne's southern and eastern suburbs. Initial attempts to contain it were unsuccessful and by April, 2012 it had spread across much of the state via regional cities.

By late 2015 myrtle rust was widespread in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. It has reached Tasmania, where it was detected in garden plants in the north-east in February 2015, and the Northern Territory, where it was detected on Melville Island in May 2015. The Tasmanian government is seeking to contain and eradicate myrtle rust from the state while the Northern Territory government has determined it is not possible to contain or eradicate the pathogen.[11]

In April 2017, New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries reported that myrtle rust had been detected on Raoul Island, off the New Zealand mainland;[12] the following month, myrtle rust was detected within New Zealand itself, in Kerikeri.[13]

Host genera[edit]

Species within the following plant genera have been recorded with the infection:[14]

Environmental impacts[edit]

Since first being detected in 2010, myrtle rust has spread rapidly with entire plant species now under threat. In Australia, the Myrtaceae family - which includes eucalypts, melaleuca and lilly pilly - is diverse, widespread and important to many native ecosystems.[15]

The impact of myrtle rust has now been seen in a range of forest ecosystems including coastal heath, coastal and river wetlands, sand island ecosystems and subtropical and tropical rainforests. A number of plant species are now at risk of becoming extinct with about 40 plant species considered highly susceptible, such as the endangered Rhodamnia angustifolia.[16][17]

Native animals are also likely to suffer significant impacts. Myrtle rust grows in shoots, fruits and flowers, destroying the food relied on by some species of flying foxes, lorikeets and honey eaters. There is the strong possibility that some of these species will become regionally extinct, and their loss could have serious flow-on effects.[18]


The original plan to eradicate myrtle rust from Australia was declared to be unfeasible by the Myrtle Rust National Management Group in December 2010. The Myrtle Rust Response Plan was cancelled and focus was placed on minimising the spread and the impacts on myrtle rust. The Australian Government, through the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, established the Myrtle Rust Coordination Group to manage the investment of $1.5 million of research funding.[3]

In 2016, The National Environmental Science Programme (http://www.environment.gov.au/science/nesp) hosted a national workshop on myrtle rust to discuss research findings and future management options. Participants included the Cooperative Research Centre for Plant Biosecurity, state and federal agencies, and botanical and plant conservation experts. Discussions centred around the impact on native species in Australia. A key outcome of the workshop included agreement that there is a need for a nationally coordinated approach through a long-term National Action Plan which aims to ensure that no species or ecosystems are lost to its impact.[17]

Practical measures to minimise the risk of increasing the distribution of myrtle rust include: not moving plant matter from one site to another; minimising pathogen spread by arriving and leaving each site clean of the pathogen, and avoiding areas that may contain myrtle rust-infected plant matter.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Carnegie, A. J.; Lidbetter, J. R.; Walker, J.; Horwood, M. A.; Tesoriero, L.; Glen, M.; Priest, M. J. (2010). "Uredo rangelii, a taxon in the guava rust complex, newly recorded on Myrtaceae in Australia" (PDF). Australian Plant Pathology. CSIRO. doi:10.1071/AP10102. Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Myrtle Rust". Primary Industries Biosecurity. Department of Industry and Investment (New South Wales). Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Australian Nursery Industry Myrtle Rust Management Plan 2012, Nursery & Gardening Industry Australia, accessed November 5, 2013
  4. ^ Simpson, J.A.; Thomas, K.; Grgurinovic, C.A. (2006). "Uredinales species pathogenic on species of Myrtaceae". Australasian Plant Pathology. 36 (5): 549–62. doi:10.1071/AP06057. 
  5. ^ a b "Myrtle Rust". Quarantine Domestic. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Myrtle Rust - Uredo rangelii" (PDF). primefacts. Department of Industry and Investment (New South Wales). August 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Dayton, Leigh; Higgins, Ean (9 April 2011). "Myrtle rust 'biggest threat to ecosystem'". The Australian. 
  8. ^ "Myrtle Rust (Uredo rangelii)". Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  9. ^ [1] Tree-killer warning for gardeners, The Queensland Times, 10th January 2012 (accessed 10th January 2012)
  10. ^ "Myrtle rust found in Victoria". ABC Rural news. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Invasive Species Council; "Myrtle rust"; https://invasives.org.au/project/myrtle-rust/. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  12. ^ "Serious fungal plant disease found on Raoul Island trees". 4 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  13. ^ "Myrtle rust". 11 May 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017. 
  14. ^ "Myrtle Rust National Host List". National pests & disease outbreaks. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  15. ^ Carnegie, AJ Amrit Kathuria, Geoff S. Pegg, Peter Entwistle, Matthew Nagel, Fiona Giblin, 2015. Environmental impact of the invasive rust Puccinia psidii on Australian native Myrtaceae. Biological Invasions DOI 10.1007/s10530-015-0996-y –; retrieved 2017-03-28
  16. ^ CRC Plant Biosecurity; 14 April 2016; “Myrtle rust – a threat to the Australian landscape and plant industries; http://www.pbcrc.com.au/news/2016/pbcrc/myrtle-rust-threat-australian-landscape-and-plant-industries; retrieved 2017-03-28
  17. ^ a b CRC Plant Biosecurity; 26 May 2016; “Myrtle rust experts agree on need for a national plan”; http://www.pbcrc.com.au/news/2016/pbcrc/myrtle-rust-agree-national-plan. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  18. ^ McLeish, Kathy; 6 June 2016; “Myrtle rust has potential to cause regional extinction of iconic animals, experts say”; ABC News; http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-04/myrtle-rust-national-action-needed-to-fight-fungus/7431342. Retrieved 2017-03-28

External links[edit]