D. J. Lee, Forest Industries Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC Qld 4558 Australia, and Forestry & Biosciences, Agri-Science Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Brisbane Qld 4001 Australia;
J. T. Brawner, Forest Industries Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast and CSIRO Plant Industries, St. Lucia Qld 4067 Australia; and
G. S. Pegg, Forest Industries Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast and Forestry & Biosciences, Agri-Science Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Disease screening to determine the threat Puccinia psidii poses to plantation and native eucalypts in Australia was undertaken in half-sib families of two contrasting eucalypt species, Eucalyptus cloeziana and E. argophloia. Artificial inoculation with a single-lesion isolate of P. psidii was used to screen these species for resistance to the biotype of P. psidii established in Australia. The objective was to characterize resistance to P. psidii within these two distinct species: E. argophloia, a vulnerable species with a narrow distribution, and E. cloeziana, a species with a broad and extensive distribution in Queensland. Results for E. cloeziana indicate that inland provenances are more resistant to P. psidii infection than provenances from coastal regions. Heritability estimates for the two assessment systems used (resistance on a 1-to-5 ordinal scale verses resistance on a 0-to-1 binomial scale) were low to high (0.24 to 0.63) for E. argophloia and moderate to high (0.4 to 0.91) for E. cloeziana, indicating a significant level of additive genetic variance for rust resistance within the populations. This study demonstrates the potential to select resistant families within the tested populations and indicates that P. psidii could detrimentally affect these species in native forests, nurseries, and plantations.