Helping address the biosecurity threat posed by the trade of ornamental plant species
Fungicides and Myrtle Rust ... early trials show some promise.
Myrtle Rust is a plant disease caused by the introduced fungal pathogen Austropuccinia psidii and it poses a serious and urgent threat to Australia’s native biodiversity. Myrtle Rust affects plant species in the family Myrtaceae (paperbarks, tea-trees, eucalypts, and lillipillies), which are key and often dominant species in most Australian ecosystems. To date it has proved capable of infecting 382 native species and this number is growing. Serious declines towards extinction are underway in some species, and broader ecological consequences are expected. Myrtle Rust is likely to have a significant impact on matters of national environmental significance protected under national environment law, including listed threatened species and ecological communities, wetlands of international importance, world heritage sites, and national heritage places.
The Foundation has been leading efforts along with key stakeholders to protect Australia against Myrtle Rust. We recently held a National Symposium, we have funded a suite of important projects, have delivered the National Action Plan, and are now developing a suite of knowledge resources for everyone to access.
Australia needs a national response to the threat of extinctions caused by Myrtle Rust.
The Australian Plant Biosecurity Science Foundation (APBSF) supports plant biosecurity research, development, extension and capacity building, particularly focused where there is a need for investment in environmental, capacity building, international linkages, non-levy payer, cross-sectoral, and strategic plant biosecurity research. The Foundation will also invest in commercial IP developed by and inherited from PBCRC. It is hoped in the long term that a return is realised from this IP and the Foundation will manage and invest those funds in plant biosecurity science.
The Foundation was established to follow the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC) which finished operations in June 2018, supported with unspent funds from PBCRC.
Read about all our investments, their outputs and impact, and download project reports.