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Eucalyptus Rust: A Disease with the Potential for Serious International Implications

July 1998 , Volume 82 , Number  7
Pages  819 - 825

T. A. Coutinho , Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology and Tree Pathology Co-operative Programme , and M. J. Wingfield , Tree Pathology Co-operative Programme, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa ; A. C. Alfenas , Department of Plant Pathology, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa MG 36570, Brazil ; and P. W. Crous , Department of Plant Pathology, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa

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Accepted for publication 3 March 1998.

Eucalyptus spp. are propagated extensively as non-natives in plantations in many parts of the tropics and sub-tropics. A number of diseases result in serious losses to this economically important forest resource. Eucalyptus rust, caused by Puccinia psidii, is one such example. The economic losses due to this disease are the result of infections of seedlings, young trees, and coppice. P. psidii occurs predominately in Central and South America, but reports of a similar rust are known from other areas. Eucalyptus rust is a remarkable disease in that the pathogen is not known on eucalypts in their centers of origin. It has apparently originated on native Myrtaceae in South America and is highly infective on some Eucalyptus spp. planted there. P. psidii causes one of the most serious forestry diseases in Brazil and is considered to be the most serious threat to eucalypt plantations worldwide. Advances in eucalyptus rust research are reviewed here, with a focus on topics such as distribution, host range, pathogen specialization, symptomatology, etiology, epidemiology, and control.

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society