Monitoring Myrtle Rust in a Lemon Myrtle Provenance Trial

John Doran

  • Project code: PRJ-008303

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011

  • Project completion date: Thursday, August 30, 2012

  • National Priority: NEPI-Industry building and connectivity


This project aims to inform the lemon myrtle industry if selection of naturally myrtle rust-resistant genotypes is a possibility in this taxa. It will do this by taking advantage of an extensive genepool planting of B. citriodora established by CSIRO at Queensland Forest Research Institute near Beerburrum Queensland in 1995-96. The trial was recently (Sept. 2011) coppiced. This project will re-label the families, provenances and clones in the trial and in two assessments scheduled for November 2011 and March 2012 subjectively score the incidence and severity of rust attack on leaves and shoots and record the vigour of each individual plant in the trial. In a Final Report to RIRDC in March 2012, confirmation or otherwise of the potential for selecting rust-resistant B. citriodora cultivars will be a major outcome. Any vigorous, rust-resistant phenotypes in the trial will be mapped and marked in the field. It will then be up to a proposed follow-on project to mass produce these selections vegetatively for transfer to other sites for further study and possible release to industry.


New and Emerging Plant Industries

Research Organisation

John Doran

Objective Summary

The principal aim of the project is to identify if there is any naturally inherent myrtle rust (Uredo rangelii) resistance in a 1995-96 genepool planting of Backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) seedlots and clones at Beerburrum in SE Queensland. Any rust resistant plant types (phenotypes) will be marked in the trial during final assessment in March 2012. It is proposed that, if rust-resistance is found in the taxa, these selections be vegetatively propagated into separate breeding populations in a follow-on project. These populations will form the basis for further studies of rust resistance in this species and be the prime source of rust-resistant cultivars for release to the bush food and other industries using Backhousia citriodora.