Myrte Rust Screening in Lemon Myrtle Provenance Plantings

  • 49 pages

  • Published: 7 Sep 2016

  • Author(s): Lee, David, Doran, John, Pegg, Geoff, Lea, D, Macdonnell, P, Giblin, Fiona

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The Backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) industry is in jeopardy due to the impact of the recently introduced rust fungus Puccinia psidii, commonly known as myrtle rust.

This research indicates that the entire genetic base of lemon myrtle is susceptible to myrtle rust but there are opportunities for the industry to select and plant cultivars that have greater tolerance to the disease than the currently used commercial varieties. With this in mind the lemon myrtle gene-pool planting at Beerburrum which is at risk from development has been saved by re-establishing it on two sites, one on a commercial lemon myrtle property in northern New South Wales near Dunoon and the second on crown land near Traveston, Queensland. In addition, the genetic base of the species has been broadened by new collections from the wild at Woondum and Ubobo in Queensland.