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The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) was established based on a very small team of researchers at the University of the Free State and focused on a single threatening Eucalyptus disease problem. The programme has since grown to become highly recognised internationally as the single strongest programme dealing with pest and pathogen problems in plantation forestry in the world. The TPCP has also brought huge energy to agricultural research and education in the biological sciences in South Africa. For example, it formed the foundation for the establishment of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria, which in just 16 years has become a flagship research centre promoting many aspects of plant improvement in South Africa.

The TPCP represents a Co-operative research initiative between the University of Pretoria and all private forestry companies in South Africa. It is also supported by the South African Government Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Other than long and short-term research, the TPCP provides members with extension services, training of forestry students at Universities, access to a world-class disease and pest diagnostic clinic and guidance in dealing with tree pest and pathogen problems. One of the key products of the TPCP is to produce biological control agents for insect pests that damage plantations belonging to members. This work depends on outstanding quarantine green house and related facilities.

The TPCP formed the basis for the establishment of the Department of Science and Technology (DST)/National Research Foundation (NRF) Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB). This programme focuses on the health of native South African trees. Given that pests and pathogens are moving from native to non-native plantation trees and vice versa, there is substantial synergy between these two programmes.

New Publications

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Barnes I, van der Nest A, Mullett MS, Crous PW, Drenkhan R, Musolin DL, Wingfield MJ. (2016) Neotypification of Dothistroma septosporum and epitypification of D. pini, causal agents of Dothistroma needle blight of pine. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12304
Osorio JA, Crous CJ, de Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2016) Endophytic Botryosphaeriaceae, including five new species, associated with mangrove trees in South Africa. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2016.09.004
Misse AC, Barnes I, Roets F, Mbenoun M, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2016) Ecology and population structure of a tree wound-infecting fungus in a native South African forest environment. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2016.09.002
Nesamari R, Coutinho TA, Roux J. (2016) Investigations into Encephalartos insect pests and diseases in South Africa identifies Phytophthora cinnamomi as a pathogen of the Modjadji cycad. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12619
Drenkhan R, Tomešová-Haataja V, Fraser S, Bradshaw RE, Vahalík P, Mullett MS, Martín-García J, Bulman LS, Wingfield MJ , Kirisits T, Cech TL, Schmitz S, Baden R, Tubby K, Brown A, Georgieva M, Woods A, Ahumada R, Jankovský L, Thomsen IM, Adamson K, Marçais B, Vuorinen M, Tsopelas P, Koltay A, Halasz A, La Porta N, Anselmi N, Kiesnere R, Markovskaja S, Kačergius A, Papazova-Anakieva I, Risteski M, Sotirovski K, Lazarević J, Solheim H, Boroń P, Bragança H, Chira D, Musolin DL, Selikhovkin AV, Bulgakov TS, Keča N, Karadžić D, Galovic V, Pap P, Markovic M, Poljakovic Pajnik L, Vasic V, Ondrušková E, Piškur B, Sadiković D, Diez JJ, Solla A, Millberg H, Stenlid J, Angst A, Queloz V, Lehtijärvi A, Doğmuş-Lehtijärvi HT, Oskay F, Davydenko K, Meshkova V, Craig D, Woodward S, Barnes I. (2016) Global geographic distribution and host range of Dothistroma species: a comprehensive review. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12290