News

Monitoring myrtle rust on native forests – study findings

July 17, 2020

Understanding the spread of myrtle rust and its effect on native trees  is critical information for effective management of the disease in New Zealand. The first monitoring study of myrtle rust in New Zealand native forests was undertaken by researchers from Scion and Plant & Food Research. Read more about their findings.

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Australian research relevant in NZ

July 17, 2020

A recently published paper by Australian researchers (Effect of Austropuccinia psidii inoculum concentration on myrtle rust disease incidence and severity) has relevance for the wider myrtle rust community in this country. A key finding is that "disease incidence and severity were found to increase across all species as inoculum concentration increased, with notable increases for species considered to be tolerant or of lower susceptibility to myrtle rust". 

 

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Student opportunity - Funded PhD project

June 25, 2020

A three-year scholarship is available to support a PhD student pursuing research on the microbial community of Myrtaceae ecosystems, how they may respond to growth conditions, and the potential effects of myrtle rust. This project will be conducted in collaboration with Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research's Beyond Myrtle Rust programme.  The scholarship consists of a stipend of NZ$28,200 per annum tax-free and covers University of Auckland PhD fees.

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Fire damaged parks - ideal conditions for myrtle rust

June 16, 2020

Australian National Parks that were badly damaged by last November’s fires are now providing ideal conditions for the spread of myrtle rust. 

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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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