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Prof. Mary Barbercheck from the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University presented a special seminar at FABI on 27 January. The occasion marked Prof. Barbercheck’s return visit to South Africa after more than 30 years as one of Birhan Abate’s PhD external examiners. She presented her seminar titled “Effects of soil characteristics and management of Metarhizium, a bifunctional fungus, in organic cropping systems”. The talk focused on studies on the effect of Metarhizium anisopliae on soils on organic systems where the use of synthetic chemicals, whether as fertilisers or pest management is prohibited. The fungus has an endophytic relationship with some plants and Prof. Barbercheck spoke about the possible roles that the fungus plays in disease and insect pest control, nutrient transfer and the decomposition of organic matter. 

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Tsopelas P, Santini A, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW. (2017) Canker stain: A lethal disease destroying iconic plane trees. Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-09-16-1235-FE
Wingfield BD. (2017) What “decolonised education” should and shouldn’t mean. The Conversation http://bit.ly/2llAK7J
Human ZR, Slippers B, De Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ, Venter SN. (2017) Antifungal actinomycetes associated with the pine bark beetle, Orthotomicus erosus, in South Africa. South African Journal of Science 113(1/2):2016-0215. 10.17159/sajs.2017/20160215 PDF
Osorio JA, Crous CJ, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW, Roux J. (2017) An assessment of mangrove diseases and pests in South Africa. Forestry 10.1093/forestry/cpw063
Mizrachi E, Verbeke L, Christie N, Fierro AC, Mansfield SD, Davis MF, Gjersing E, Tuskan GA, Van Montagu M, Van de Peer Y, Marchal K, Myburg AA. (2017) Network-based integration of systems genetics data reveals pathways associated with lignocellulosic biomass accumulation and processing. PNAS 10.1073/pnas.1620119114 PDF