Deadly creeper

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

australian government will use a fungus to fight a weed, which has destroyed vast areas of the country's natural bushland. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and the Weeds Cooperative Research Centre have released the rust fungus, Puccinia myrsiphylli , in order to stop the uncontrollable spread of the Asparagus asparagoides, the creeper which is being described by the government officials as an environmental curse.

The rust fungus has gone through various phases of tests to ensure that it is safe for release. The rust attacks the cells of the creeper's leaves. Severe infection causes the creeper to loose its foliage, thus leading it to use its reserves stored in underground tubers. This prevents the creeper from germinating and, therefore, effectively stopping its rapid growth.

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