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Honolulu Scholar Concocts Smoothie for Endangered Plant

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2021

Honolulu ARCS Scholar Dr. Anthony Amend has demonstrated that an easily and inexpensively produced smoothie can reduce damage from ‘Ohia rust in critically endangered native Hawaiian nioi plants. Amend, an associate professor of botany at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, used a blender to make a slurry from healthy wild rose apple leaves, which was filtered and sprayed on leaves of infected Eugenia koolauensis plants. The spray contains microbiotic fungi that are important to plant health (like probiotics are for humans) but may be absent in plants grown in greenhouses. Ohia rust, also known as myrtle rust, strips infected plants of their leaves and inhibits reproduction, which poses a critical risk for plants in danger of extinction. Dr. Amend received ARCS Foundation Honolulu Chapter's 2007 Maybelle F. Roth ARCS Award in Conservation Biology.

Endangered Hawaiian Eugenia koolauensis plant

Read the article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser or theresearch paper in Phytobiomes Journal.

Dr. Anthony Amend