A recent detection of blueberry rust (Thekopsora minima) was made in the Melbourne metropolitan area.
Blueberry rust symptoms
The fungus Thekospora minima displays the following symptoms:
- Initial yellow, chlorotic leaf spots on upper surface of young leaves
- Lesions turn rust coloured as infection progresses
- Yellow-orange pustules on underside of leaves, which can release spores and infect other leaves
- Premature leaf drop and defoliation
- The rust has two alternate hosts depending on climate and fungal spore stage. In colder climates it requires an alternative host to complete its lifecycle. Melbourne’s climate is considered suitable for overwintering on evergreen blueberry leaves so an alternate host is not required.
- Southern highbush blueberries are more susceptible than other varieties
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