This Myrtle Rust Management Plan has been developed by the Nursery & Garden Industry
Queensland (John McDonald - Nursery Industry Development Manager) for the
Australian Nursery Industry.
Version 02 February 2012
Photographs sourced from I&I NSW, NGIQ and Queensland DEEDI.
Various sources have contributed to the content of this plan including:
Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia (NIASA)
DEEDI Queensland Myrtle Rust Fact Sheets
I&I NSW Myrtle Rust Fact Sheets and Updates
Biosecurity Queensland Myrtle Rust Program
Preparation of this document has been financially supported by Nursery & Garden Industry
Queensland, Nursery & Garden Industry Australia and Horticulture Australia Ltd.
Published by Nursery & Garden Industry Australia, Sydney 2012
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of contents, Nursery & Garden Industry
Myrtle rust (Uredo rangelii) has the potential to infect all myrtaceous plants in both our built
timber, cut flower, etc) more likely along the coastline of Australia due to suitable environmental
conditions. Under threat from this disease, if it becomes widely established, are a number of
identified threatened native plant species across Australia plus a number of endangered wildlife
habitat(s) that could have a major impact on our natural biodiversity.
In April 2010 Myrtle rust was detected in Australia on the Central Coast of New South Wales
(EPPRD) and a comprehensive surveillance and management program was initiated within NSW.
By November 2010 more than 140 infected premises had been identified across NSW with the first
detections outside horticultural industries being recorded in state forests and nature reserves.
The initial detections of the disease in Queensland occurred on the 27
December 2010 in the
Gladstone and Hervey Bay during 2011. The most recent detections outside of NSW and Qld
occurred in Victoria during the first week of January 2012 with more than 28 sites around
Melbourne infected by early February 2012.
On December 22
2010 the Myrtle Rust National Management Group agreed the disease was not
technically feasible to eradicate in New South Wales and cancelled the Myrtle Rust Response Plan
previously enacted under the EPPRD. Due to the impact the disease could have across Australia it
was further agreed to implement a structured management plan to limit the establishment of the
pathogen within industries and the natural environment. The federal government, through the
Department of Agriculture Fisheries & Forestry (DAFF), established the Myrtle Rust Coordination
Group to plan the investment of $1.5 million of research funding across six key themes:
National Transition to Management Plan:
Theme 1: Coordination and communication
Theme 2: Immediate disease management
Theme 3: Taxonomy and identity of the pathogen
Theme 4: Potential impact and distribution
Theme 5: Chemical control options
Theme 6: Resistance breeding options
Nursery Industry, is in direct response to the agreed national position in which the industry
participated in developing. As a professional and responsible industry it is appropriate that all
growers, wholesalers and retailers apply the relevant strategies to manage myrtle rust as
described in this plan.
Myrtle rust is a notifiable pathogen in all Australian jurisdictions, where currently no positive
state or territory biosecurity agency within 24 – 48 hours.
National Exotic Plant Pest Hotline: 1800 084 881
This Myrtle Rust Management Plan has been developed for use by production nurseries and
retailers of greenlife including garden centres, greenlife markets (wholesalers), big box hardware,
supermarkets, chain stores, etc. The plan provides a detailed framework for growers and retailers
to apply on-site in the management of myrtle rust on plants of the Myrtaceae family. It is
recommended that the industry apply this plan to all plants of the Myrtaceae family not only
those that have been currently identified as hosts.
For further information on whole of property biosecurity in the nursery industry including on-farm
and the industry Biosecurity Manual contact your state industry
peak body or go to
and follow the links.
(Source: NGIQ – Myrtle rust on Syzygium jambos)
Note: State/territory laws and requirements including interstate movement
It is possible that all genera listed may be susceptible to myrtle rust under optimum conditions in
Note: Genera highlighted in yellow have had species, within these genera, return positive
infections in the field (natural infection) in New South Wales and Queensland between 2010 and
Myrtle rust (Uredo rangelii), a plant fungal disease native to South America, is a member of the
between April 2010 and February 2012, information from New South Wales and Queensland,
shows myrtle rust has an expanding host range currently infecting approximately 179 species from
41 genera or approximately 46% of known genera (Myrtaceae) in Australia.
The pathogen infects young, actively growing, emerging leaves, buds, flowers, green stems, fruit
infections of the disease have been recorded on:
Gossia inophloia (syn. Austromyrtus inophloia) Thready barked myrtle
Smooth scrub turpentine
(Source: DEEDI February 2012)
Myrtle rust may infect plants under a wide range of environmental conditions, however infection
rates may be heightened when the following conditions are present:
Free water on plant surfaces for 6 hours or more
Night temperatures (optimal) within 15 - 25⁰C however as low as 10°C
increase germination success
Life cycle can be as short as 10 – 14 days (spore to spore)
Myrtle rust has the ability to complete its entire lifecycle on a single host plant. Myrtle rust
initially causes light infection on young leaves and new shoots which can appear as yellow flecks.
Lesions expand radially and can coalesce (join) with age and susceptible tissue shrivels and dies.
Secondary infections within the plant can occur within days of the first pustules appearing. Repeat
infection may result in plant death, although this is likely to vary from species to species
drops dead leaves the pathogen will reinfect new growth limiting the plants ability to recover.
It is possible that as this disease establishes in Australia the host range may grow to include many
consider all myrtaceous species as potential hosts of myrtle rust.
Note: Guava rust (Puccinia psidii) is also known as eucalyptus rust and has caused heavy crop
losses in the Brazilian hardwood industry through the decimation of planted Eucalyptus seedlings
in the field. For identification purposes myrtle rust and guava rust are visually and
symptomatically identical therefore identification tools are interchangeable.
The general symptoms of myrtle rust/guava rust include: