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Myrtle fungus
Another unwelcome import

Dr Brett Summerell, Head of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, investigates another key threatening process, this time a fungus known as Puccinia psidii that causes a disease called myrtle rust. Myrtle rust was first recorded in 2010 in the Gosford region and has already spread widely along the length of the east coast, preferring areas with abundant rainfall from the coast to the ranges. Myrtle rust is a bright, yellowy-orange fungus that produces masses of spores on highly susceptible plants. Since it affects leaves, fruit and flowers, the fungus can have a big impact on plant health, stopping photosynthesis and reproduction. Some species will potentially become extinct.

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