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Beyond Myrtle Rust is proud to bring you the myrtle rust webinar series

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Upcoming webinars

The foliar microbiome and implications for myrtle rust infection    

Presenter: Hayley Ridgway, Plant & Food Research  

Date: 13 December 2023, 11am NZST

The phylloplane, or leaf surface, is colonised by a large and complex community of microbes, including bacteria, fungi, archaea and yeasts. These microorganisms can contribute to plant growth and development, including having a role in protection from disease. The invasive rust Austropuccinia psidii, the causal agent of myrtle rust, infects myrtaceous species, colonising the new foliage (leaves, shoots and flowers) and causing death of tissues. In severe and repeated infection, it can cause plant death. For this webinar, Hayley Ridgway (Science Group Leader - Plant Protection Systems at Plant & Food Research) will present research that investigates the role of microorganisms present on the phylloplane in infection by A. psidii. To do this, she and the team characterised the foliar microbial community on new (young) and previous (old) season’s growth of three myrtaceous species, pōhutakawa, ramarama and mānuka, using Illumina sequencing metabarcoding. The results showed that the microbial community on the leaf surface was distinctive between hosts, site and tissue age. At the same time, a culturome of >1000 microorganisms were recovered from the foliage and individual isolates were assessed for their ability to inhibit infection. In her talk, she will discuss the progress towards identifying a synthetic community of protective A. psidii-antagonistic microorganisms.


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Registering will also ensure you receive invites to future myrtle rust webinars.

Previous webinars

What does myrtle rust resilience look like for Māori?       

Presenter: Alby Marsh, Plant & Food Research, November 2023


Putative pathogenicity transcript targets for control of Austropuccinia psidii     

Presenter: Grant Smith, Plant & Food Research, October 2023


Previous webinars

Growing rust fungi on artificial substrates – A step closer to studying infection in the lab without using plants   

Presenter: Sarah Sale, University of Canterbury, September 2023


Ex situ conservation to support recovery of species severely affected by myrtle rust 

Presenters: Karen Sommerville and Veronica Viler, Australian PlantBank, Botanic Gardens of Sydney, August 2023


Restoration genetics of Syzygium maire

Presenter: Colan Balkwill, PhD candidate at Victoria University of Wellington, July 2023


Optimising fungicide sprays for myrtle rust control in plant nurseries 

Presenter: Robert Beresford, Plant & Food Research, October 2022



Exogenous RNAi inhibits infection physiology myrtle rust in planta

Presenter: Rebecca Degnan, The University of Queensland, August 2022


Molecular detection of different strains of Austropuccinia psidii 

Presenter: Jane Stewart, February 2022


Using metabolites as biomarkers to ID resistance to myrtle rust and to detect early-stage infection 

Presenter: Michelle Moffit, May 2022


Melaleuca quinquenervia; towards a model for myrtle rust research

Presenter: Alyssa Martino, The University of Sydney, December 2022


Chasing fungal antagonists of the myrtle rust fungus in Brazil 

Presenters: Robert Barreto & Gleiber Quintão, June 2022


Understanding and managing impacts with a focus on long-term conservation

Presenter: Craig Stehn, NSW Government, Australia, March 2023


Finding and developing genetic resistance to disease in forest trees

Presenter: Richard Sniezko, July 2022



From surveillance to epidemiology: learning from myrtle rust

Presenter: Rebecca Campbell, March 2022


Can seed banking fleshy Myrtaceae seeds buy time in the myrtle rust battle?

Presenter: Karin van der Walt, November 2021


Boots on the Ground – Rōhutu Preservation at Mahanihani

Presented by:  Nicky Reynolds, Te Korowai o Papatūānuku, May 2023


Mapping genetic loci linked to myrtle rust resistance in mānuka 

Presenter: David Chagné, Plant & Food Research, February 2023


Unprecedented extinction of tree species by fungal disease

Presenter: Rod Fensham, December 2021


Austropuccinia psidii rust (myrtle rust) in the Western Hemisphere

Presenter: Phil Cannon, July 2021


The ecological importance of the Myrtaceae in the woody ecosystems of New Zealand

Presenter: Insu Jo, April 2022


Te Mana Motuhake o te kākano: What seed sovereignty means for us

Presenter: Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, Te Tira Whakamātaki, November 2022


Pre-visual and early detection of myrtle rust on rose apple  

Presented by: Michael Watt, Scion, April 2023 


Can different strains of Austropuccinia psidii outcross on a universal host?

Presenter: Alistair McTaggart, October 2021

Predicting future spread of myrtle rust in Aotearoa New Zealand

Presenter: Rob Beresford, September 2021


Monitoring the impact of Austropuccinia psidii on native Myrtaceae in the ngahere

Presenter: Roanne Sutherland, August 2021


Harnessing foliar fungal communities for endangered plant conservation 

Presenter: Mason Kamalani Chock, June 2021


RNA interference-mediated control of myrtle rust

Presenter: Anne Sawyer, May 2021


Austropuccinia psidii: the threat of other strains 

Presenter: Julia Soewarto, March 2021

Chasing myrtle rust in NZ: biosecurity response diagnostics and beyond

Presenter: Merje Toome, February 2021

Strings attached: Managing ex-situ plants highly susceptible to pathogens

Presenter: Emma Bodley, April 2021


The other pandemic: unlocking the Austropuccinia psidii genome to help fight myrtle rust 

Presenter: Peri Tobias, December 2020

Fire and rust: The impact of myrtle rust on post-fire regeneration in Australia

Presenter: Geoff Pegg, November 2020

Predicting Refuges from Myrtle Rust

Presenter: James McCarthy, October 2020