March 16, 2020
A new paper has been published summarising the diagnostic activities undertaken during the myrtle rust response in New Zealand.
After the first detection of Austropuccinia psidii in Kerikeri, a system was set up at the Ministry for Primary Industries to process the notifications. MPI’s Plant Health and Environment Laboratory handled all suspected myrtle rust cases and completed the diagnostics.
In addition to summarising the diagnostic methodology that was used, this paper publishes the host list of A. psidii in New Zealand, shows its spread throughout the country over the first year since the invasion and highlights the importance of employing a range of surveillance programmes to track the spread of pests.
In the myrtle rust response, most of the new infected areas were found by the general public whereas the new hosts were mainly found by specialised surveillance teams.
This paper was co-authored by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Plant Health and Environment Laboratory, MPI’s Plant and Biosecurity Surveillance and Incursion Investigation Plant Health, Scion, and Plant and Food Research Ltd.