Puccinia psidii infecting cultivated Eucalyptus and native myrtaceae in Uruguay
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Eucalyptus or guava rust caused by Puccinia psidii is a serious disease of Eucalyptus and other Myrtaceae. In Uruguay, it has been previously found on Eucalyptus globulus and Psidium brasiliensis. Almost nothing is known regarding the occurrence of this pathogen on other Eucalyptus species or native Myrtaceae in that country. In this study, we determined the presence of P. psidii on Eucalyptus species and native Myrtaceae trees in Uruguay and evaluated the pathogenicity of specimens from native myrtaceous hosts on E. globulus and E. grandis. Phylogenetic analyses based on the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the nuclear ribosomal DNA operon were used to confirm pathogen identity. Comparisons of ITS sequences confirmed the identity of P. psidii on Eucalyptus globulus, E. grandis, Myrcianthes pungens, and Myrrhinium atropurpureum var. octandrum. This is the first report of P. psidii on M. atropurpureum var. octandrum. Pathogenicity tests showed that isolates from native Myrtaceae could infect both Eucalyptus species tested, indicating a strong biological relationship between both introduced and native Myrtaceae. This study supplies relevant field data, morphological information, molecular phylogenetic analyses and infection studies that contribute to a better understanding of an important and little studied pathogen.