Risk assessment forPuccinia psidiibecoming established in South Africa

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Puccinia psidii, the causal agent of myrtle rust, was first recorded from Latin America more than 100 years ago. It occurs on many native species of Myrtaceae in Latin America and also infects non-native plantation-grown Eucalyptus species in the region. The pathogen has gradually spread to new areas including Australia and most recently South Africa. The aim of this study was to consider the susceptibility of selected Eucalyptus genotypes, particularly those of interest to South African forestry, to infection by P. psidii. In addition, risk maps were compiled based on suitable climatic conditions and the occurrence of potential susceptible tree species. This made it possible to identify the season when P. psidii would be most likely to infect and to define the geographic areas where the rust disease would be most likely to establish in South Africa. As expected, variation in susceptibility was observed between eucalypt genotypes tested. Importantly, species commonly planted in South Africa show good potential for yielding disease-tolerant material for future planting. Myrtle rust is predicted to be more common in spring and summer. Coastal areas, as well as areas in South Africa with subtropical climates, are more conducive to outbreaks of the pathogen.

    loading  Loading Related Articles