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A three-year analysis of rust fungi intercepted at Arizona ports of entry

Dustin Sandberg: USDA-APHIS-PPQ

<div>Rust fungi (Basidiomycota, Pucciniales) are highly specialized obligate parasites that cause significant damage to agricultural and forestry crops. Many of the rust fungi intercepted at Arizona ports of entry that transit from Mexico are considered quarantine significant pests and account for a substantial portion of the pathogens requiring phytosanitary action when identified at the border by PPQ personnel. From January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017, around 700 rust fungi were intercepted from 6 different Arizona ports of entry. The intercepted rust fungi belonged to 5 known rust families, 9 genera, and over 20 different species. Interceptions of rust fungi found at Arizona ports of entry increased slightly from 2015 to 2016, but decreased in 2017. From the 3-year study, it was discovered that 2015 had the highest diversity of rust fungi. The most prevalent rust fungus intercepted was Chrysanthemum White Rust (<em>Puccinia horiana</em>). Chrysanthemum White Rust accounted for over half of the rust fungi found, and interceptions gradually increased from 2015 to 2017.</div>