Host specificity testing by CABI (UK) of Puccinia lantanae

Alan Wood- ARC plant Protection Research Institute, Stellenbosch

CABRI (UK) undertook the host specificity testing of the rust fungus Puccinia lantanae for introduction of this pathogen into Australia. An isolate originating from Peru that is more damaging than most was selected for testing. Additional testing of plants of interest to South Africa was opportunistically included, as a previous work showed that at least some South African forms of the weed are highly susceptible to this isolate.

A total of 46 plants were tested, most in the Verbenaceae but also including some from closely related families. Twelve of the species included were of interest to South Africa. The result indicates that the rust fungus isolate is suitable for release in both Australia and South Africa.

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