Busting myrtle rust

By AG STAFF 13 September 2023
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Scientists have discovered a native guava tree that appears to be resistant to invasive myrtle rust.

The tree, which is growing in a Jimboomba backyard in Queensland, might offer a solution to slowing the spread of this rampant plant disease.

The tree is undergoing genetic analysis and saplings are being propagated from seed and cuttings to investigate whether it might off er a solution to slowing the spread of this silent killer.

Invasive myrtle rust has had a devastating impact on Australian plant communities since it was first detected here on the Central Coast of New South Wales in 2010.

The fungus affects more than 400 different types of plants in the Myrtaceae family – eucalyptus, paperbark, lilly pilly, bottlebrush and tea-tree – by preventing them from producing seeds, fruit or new growth.

Related: Australia’s least wanted – 8 alien species and diseases we must keep out of our island home