The biological control of Impatiens glandulifera by Puccinia komarovii var. glanduliferae
Impatiens glandulifera (Balsaminaceae, EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) was introduced in the EPPO region as an ornamental plant and it is now widespread. The plant can rapidly colonize riparian systems, damp woodlands and waste ground where it reduces native plant diversity, retards woodland regeneration, outcompetes native plants for space, light and pollinators and increases the risk of flooding. Current control methods are often unsuccessful due to the need to control the plant on a catchment scale.
Since 2006, CABI and its collaborators have surveyed populations of I. glandulifera throughout its native range where numerous natural enemies have been collected and identified. One potential candidate has been identified: Puccinia komarovii var. glanduliferae (Basidomycota: Pucciniaceae). This autoecious, monocyclic pathogen seems promising, not only due to its impacts on the host but also due to its high specificity as observed in the field and preliminary host range testing.
Tanner R, Ellison C, Varia S, Pollard K (2014) The biological control of Impatiens glandulifera Royle using the rust pathogen Puccinia komarovii var. glanduliferae. Abstract of the 4th International Symposium on Environmental Weeds and Invasive Plants, Montpellier (FR), 2014-06-19-23.