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Dr. Michelle Schroder, a postdoctoral fellow at FABI is spending two months collaborating with researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s (USC) Forest Industries Research Centre. This visit, funded by an Australian Award Fellowship, will see Michelle undertake an extensive field survey of the Eucalyptus snout-beetle, Gonipterus spp. and search for matching wasps that parasitise this weevil’s eggs or larvae along Australia’s east coast.

This research project is part of a global collaboration that includes Brazilian, Chilean, Portuguese and South African (FABI) partners, led by USC, which is aimed at targeting Australian-origin eucalypt pests.

This native Australian weevil is a serious pest of Eucalyptus trees and weevil outbreaks have increased in South Africa in recent decades, after almost a century of seemingly acceptable biological control by a parasitoid wasp Anaphes nitens Girault.

The aim of Michelle’s work with USC is to find a parasitoid wasp species that is a better match to combat the weevil, and is also better adapted to certain South African climate conditions.

Until quite recently, Gonipterus was thought to be just one species, but it is now known that it is actually eight (or more) different species and Michelle hopes that the project will give South Africa a better matched biocontrol agent.

New Publications

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Linnakoski R, Forbes KM, Wingfield MJ, Pulkkinen P, Asiegbu FO. (2017) Testing projected climate change conditions on the Endoconidiophora polonica / Norway spruce pathosystem shows fungal strain specific effects. Frontiers in Plant Science 8:883. 10.3389/fpls.2017.00883 PDF
Crous CJ, Burgess TI, Le Roux JJ, Richardson DM, Slippers B, Wingfield MJ. (2017) Ecological disequilibrium drives insect pest and pathogen accumulation in non-native trees. AoB Plants 9:plw081. 10.1093/aobpla/plw081
Swart V, Crampton BG, Ridenour J, Bluhm BH, Olivier NA, Meyer JJM, Berger DK. (2017) Complementation of CTB7 in the maize pathogen Cercospora zeina overcomes the lack of in vitro cercosporin production. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions First Look Online 10.1094/MPMI-03-17-0054-R
Wingfield MJ, Slippers B, Wingfield BD, Barnes I. (2017) The unified framework for biological invasions: a forest fungal pathogen perspective. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-017-1450-0
Tanui CK, Shyntum DY, Priem SL, Theron J, Moleleki LN. (2017) Influence of the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) protein on pathogenicity in Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. brasiliense. Plos One 5(12) 10.1371/journal.pone.0177647