News

Research highlights ex situ conservation strategies for endangered native myrtles

June 02, 2020

New research highlights the importance of holistic conservation strategies to safeguard the germplasm of native New Zealand myrtles under threat from myrtle rust. It includes successful in vitro culture for several myrtle species, and hand pollination of Bartlett’s rātā, New Zealand’s rarest tree species.

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Researchers successfully assemble myrtle rust genome

April 01, 2020

A trans-Tasman research collaboration has successfully completed the assembly of a nearly complete genome for the fungus that causes myrtle rust. The task of assembling the genome was intensive and took many months because the Austropuccinia psidii genome is much larger than expected. In fact, it is by far the largest fungal genome assembled to date.

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Testing the effectiveness of fungicides against myrtle rust – what worked best?

March 23, 2020

Using an artificial inoculation protocol, the efficacy of eight fungicides* were applied as curative or protectant treatments against myrtle rust on two native New Zealand species – New Zealand ‘Magic Dragon’ (Lophomyrtus x ralphii) and pōhutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa).

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Chasing myrtle rust in New Zealand - the first year after invasion

March 16, 2020

A new paper has been published summarising the diagnostic activities undertaken during the myrtle rust response in New Zealand.

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Beyond Myrtle Rust post grad scholarships

February 07, 2020

Funding is available within the Beyond Mytle Rust research programme for two students, for up to two years of full-time post graduate study (a longer period of part time study may also be considered). Domestic student fees and $15,000 for each year (FTE) is available for each student. 

The aims of this project are to investigate rongoā approaches to biocontrol and assist in colletion of biocontrol agents with mātauranga Māori guidance. Join this ambitious $13m research programme and help safeguard Aotearoa's precious myrtles for future generations. Read the job description for more information.

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Myrtle rust is having sex!

February 06, 2020

A study has just been published containing new evidence that Austropuccinia psidii, the fungus that causes myrtle rust, is reproducing sexually in New Zealand in addition to cloning itself. This means that the fungus will have a better chance of adapting to natural plant resistance as well as biological and chemical controls.

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New scientist takes the reins at Scion

February 05, 2020

Dr Stuart Fraser is in the thick of his first field season leading the myrtle rust team at Scion. Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho sat down with him to get his insights on the disease in Aotearoa and abroad.

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Infection updates from Scion

February 05, 2020

The team at Scion didn’t stop for long over the Christmas break – this is their latest news about myrtle rust infections at selected monitoring sites in the North Island.

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Myrtle rust science stocktake

February 04, 2020

A list of past and current research focused on biology, impacts and management of myrtle rust is now available on the Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho website.

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Latest information on myrtle rust infection across Aotearoa

February 03, 2020

To get a picture of myrtle rust infection across Aotearoa, follow the link to view Plant & Food’s nation-wide map.

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