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Genetic diversity of the myrtle rust pathogen (Austropuccinia psidii) in the Americas and Hawaii: Global implications for invasive threat assessments


J. E. Stewart
R. N. Graҫa
A. C. Alfenas
T. L. Peever
J. Y. Uchida
R. D. Hauff
C. Y. Kadooka
M.-S. Kim
P. G. Cannon
S. Namba
S. Simeto
C. A. Pérez
M. B. Rayamajhi
M. Arguedas
R. Medel-Ortiz
M. A. López-Ramirez
P. Tennant
M. Glen
P. S. Machado
A. R. McTaggart
A. J. Carnegie
M. Cleary



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Historical Station(s):

Northern Research Station


Forest Pathology. 48: e12378.


Since the myrtle rust pathogen (Austropuccinia psidii) was first reported (as Puccinia psidii) in Brazil on guava (Psidium guajava) in 1884, it has been found infecting diverse myrtaceous species. Because A. psidii has recently spread rapidly worldwide with an extensive host range, genetic and genotypic diversities were evaluated within and among A. psidii populations in its putative native range and other areas of myrtle rust emergence in the Americas and Hawaii. Microsatellite markers revealed several unique multilocus genotypes (MLGs), which grouped isolates into nine distinct genetic clusters [C1–C9 comprising C1: from diverse hosts from Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and USA-Hawaii, and USA-California; C2: from eucalypts (Eucalyptus spp.) in Brazil/Uruguay and rose apple (Syzygium jambos) in Brazil; C3: from eucalypts in Brazil; C4: from diverse hosts in USA-Florida; C5: from Java plum (Syzygium cumini) in Brazil; C6: from guava and Brazilian guava (Psidium guineense) in Brazil; C7: from pitanga (Eugenia uniflora) in Brazil; C8: from allspice (Pimenta dioica) in Jamaica and sweet flower (Myrrhinium atropurpureum) in Uruguay; C9: from jabuticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora) in Brazil]. The C1 cluster, which included a single MLG infecting diverse host in many geographic regions, and the closely related C4 cluster are considered as a "Pandemic biotype," associated with myrtle rust emergence in Central America, the Caribbean, USA-Florida, USA-Hawaii, Australia, China-Hainan, New Caledonia, Indonesia and Colombia. Based on 19 bioclimatic variables and documented occurrences of A. psidii contrasted with reduced sets of specific genetic clusters (subnetworks, considered as biotypes), maximum entropy bioclimatic modelling was used to predict geographic locations with suitable climate for A. psidii which are at risk from invasion. The genetic diversity of A. psidii throughout the Americas and Hawaii demonstrates the importance of recognizing biotypes when assessing the invasive threats posed by A. psidii around the globe.


Stewart, J.E.; Ross-Davis, A.L.; Graҫa, R.N.; Alfenas, A.C.; Peever, T.L.; Hanna, J.W.; Uchida, J.Y.; Hauff, R.D.; Kadooka, C.Y.; Kim, M.-S.; Cannon, P.G.; Namba, S.; Simeto, S.; Pérez, C.A.; Rayamajhi, M.B.; Lodge, D.J.; Arguedas, M.; Medel-Ortiz, R.; López-Ramirez, M.A.; Tennant, P.; Glen, M.; Machado, P.S.; McTaggart, A.R.; Carnegie, A.J.; Klopfenstein, N.B.; Cleary, M. 2017. Genetic diversity of the myrtle rust pathogen (Austropuccinia psidii) in the Americas and Hawaii: Global implications for invasive threat assessments. Forest Pathology. 23(5): e12378-.


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