The extended Myrtle Rust Project funded by NSW Department of Planning and Environment is progressing well. Coordinated by ANPC Project Manager Chantelle Doyle since June 2023, the project has so far achieved the following:
- Dispersal of 10 additional Native Guava (Rhodomyrtus psidioides) plants and lineages to 3 partner gardens to supplement the existing ex situ
- Dispersal of 13 Scrub Turpentine (Rhodamnia rubescens) plants and lineages to 3 partner gardens.
- New partner Booderee Botanic Gardens has joined the project group.
- Five collaborative partner meetings have been held, with much discussion on managing the collections, along with informative presentations from key researchers at Botanic Gardens of Sydney: Dr Manueal Cascini outlining the status of genetic analysis Rhodamnia maideniana and Dr Jason Bragg on Myrtle Rust resistance in Rhodamnia rubescens.
- Continued collation of dispersal data.
- Epicollect monitoring of the ex situ collections is ongoing and has been streamlined for ease of use. All gardens can now access the raw data and export for their personal records (training undertaken by DPE’s Craig Stehn)
- Additional collection of germplasm and genetic material from healthy psidioides appearing in response to drying climate.
- Additional collection of genetic material from healthy maideniana and R. whiteana plants observed in the field being sent to Dr Manuela Cascini for additional genetic analysis.
- Collection of Rhodamnia and Rhodomyrtus fruit being sent to Dr Karen Sommerville for storage and viability testing.
- Planning future co-facilitated ANPC/BCARM practitioner meetings for managing Myrtle Rust impacted collections.
- An outreach flyer has been developed outlining the project background and aims, for the general public when visiting the ex situ collections and which can be used for guided walks.
- Botanic Gardens of Sydney blog on how ‘genetics is helping to save plant species decimated by myrtle rust’ dated 28 July 2023.
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