Research looks for answers to kauri dieback and myrtle rust

October 11, 2019

A University of Canterbury engineer has received an $800,000 Rutherford Discovery Fellowship to accelerate research into saving native trees from fungal pathogens. Using a lab-on-a-chip approach, Dr Nock will receive funding for the next five years to better understand how plant diseases such as kauri dieback and myrtle rust (which threatens pohutukawa, rata and manuka) target and invade their hosts.


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Preparing our trees' defences against myrtle rust

September 24, 2019

Scientists are currently investigating how the pathogen is reproducing around Aotearoa. Researcher Dr Michael Bartlett (pictured) says we need to better understand the way myrtle rust  (Austropuccinia psidii) is reproducing in order to predict how the pathogen will adapt to the New Zealand environment.

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Symposium focused on combating myrtle rust

September 19, 2019

The recent Myrtle Rust Science Symposium discussed solutions to battle the invasive rust disease which is attacking iconic species such as pōhutukawa and ramarama, and heard how myrtle rust has wiped out species from some areas across the Tasman.

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NZ's Biological Heritage Challenge: Priority research investment - Māori-led research

August 31, 2019

Ngā Rākau Taketake: Social-ecological systems are a crucial element in the long-term preservation of our taonga species and ecosystems, so our aim is to build on existing relationships and research to develop expertise in this space.


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NZ's Biological Heritage Challenge: Priority research investment - Surveillance

August 31, 2019

In order to know the full effect of kauri dieback and myrtle rust we must closely observe them as they move throughout our towns and forest. We need to empower communities to map and monitor these foreign pathogens and their impacts, using an overarching surveillance framework.

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A guide to BioHeritage scoping groups

August 31, 2019

A guide to BioHeritage scoping groups - what they do, why we need them, why it's taking so long.

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Science Symposium will focus on safeguarding precious myrtles

August 6, 2019

The 2019 Myrtle Rust Science Symposium in Auckland on 9 and 10 September, will bring together organisations passionate about safeguarding and sustaining New Zealand's precious myrtles for future generations.

The media release includes an "Answers to questions" section on the symposium and the Myrtle rust science plan.

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July 2019 Myrtle Rust update

July 17, 2019

In this update:

  • 2019 Myrtle Rust Science Symposium – Save the date!
  • New Myrtle Rust Science Plan vital to combating the disease
  • Department of Conservation seed collection update
  • Heads up for myrtle rust spread in spring
  • “Myrtles for Tomorrow” symposium
  • Opening call: New Zealand Biosecurity Awards
  • What’s new on
  • The future of the newsletter

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First confirmed myrtle rust case on West Coast

May 9, 2019

Myrtle rust has been detected for the first time on the West Coast on a young pōhutukawa plant, Biosecurity New Zealand (a branch of the Ministry for Primary Industries) confirmed.

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March 2019 Myrtle Rust update

April 2, 2019

In this update:

  • Where has myrtle rust been found
  • New myrtle rust website live
  • Calling all citizen scientists! 
  • Please share our online learning modules 
  • Seasonal variations of myrtle rust: What to look for in Autumn 
  • Thank you for your feedback
  • Links to resources and further information


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