National Myrtle Rust Workshop

Plant Health Australia held a two day National Myrtle Rust Workshop on 24 and 25 July in Sydney. Each of the Myrtle Rust T2M Program’s researchers, and several other independent researchers (whose work was not funded by the Program), presented the findings of their work.

Professor Acelino Alfenas from the Federal University of Viçosa in Brazil gave the main address, including the host and geographic range of Myrtle rust and research into breeding resistance.

Louise Morin, from CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, gave a presentation on Elucidating the life cycle of myrtle rust.

Elodie Nakamura from the Department of Veterinary, Food and Rural Affairs in New Caledonia gave an update on the status of Myrtle rust in New Caledonia, following its detection several months ago.

Attendees comprised researchers, representatives from the Australian Government, state and territory agricultural and environmental departments, representatives from botanic gardens and industry stakeholders. All contributed to discussions on whether the desired outcomes of the MRT2M Program have been achieved, the future direction and focus for Myrtle rust research, and whether or not the program is a good model for future transition to management programs.

Representatives from New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries and Department of Conservation were also in attendance to gain a better understanding of what they can do in preparation for an incursion of Myrtle rust in New Zealand.

Feedback from attendees has been positive.

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