FABI, the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, at the University of Pretoria, is a post-graduate research institute that was established in 1997, based on a recognition that the future of forestry and agriculture in South Africa will strongly depend on the incorporation of new and emerging technologies into these industries. Major opportunities for these industries have emerged in recent times, from the applications of biotechnology and bioinformatics, amongst many others. FABI scientists undertake goal-directed research, in partnership with major players in the forestry and agricultural sectors in South Africa and in so doing, promote both human capital and industrial development in the country.

Being based at the University of Pretoria provides FABI with the capacity to build future human resources in biotechnology, that are crucial to the future of forestry and agriculture in South Africa. It also enables collaboration and linkage with the majority of statutory bodies undertaking research in the plant and animal sciences. Additional value comes from training grants, participation of students in research programmes, and an enormous human and technological resource associated with this University.

Staff at the University of Pretoria linked to FABI, have also had long-term associations with the fruit tree industry as well as with many other programmes linked to agricultural and forestry crops. Since its establishment, FABI has grown rapidly. FABI is made up of about 180 people including, more than 20 academic staff, 130+ postgraduate (Hons, MSc, PhD) students, postdoctoral fellows, research visitors, and a small core of technical and support staff. Approximately 30 languages are spoken by members of the FABI Team, illustrating a remarkably multinational and multicultural group.

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Meyer J, Berger DK, Christensen SA, Murray SL. (2017) RNA-Seq analysis of resistant and susceptible sub-tropical maize lines reveals a role for kauralexins in resistance to grey leaf spot disease, caused by Cercospora zeina. BMC Plant Biology 17:197. 10.1186/s12870-017-1137-9
Nel WJ, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW. (2017) A new genus and species for the globally important, multi-host root pathogen Thielaviopsis basicola. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12803
Aylward J, Wingfield BD, Dreyer LL, Roets F, Wingfield MJ, Steenkamp ET. (2017) Contrasting carbon metabolism in saprotrophic and pathogenic Microascalean fungi from Protea trees. Fungal Ecology 30:88-100. 10.1016/j.funeco.2017.09.002
Wingfield BD. (2017) South Africa can’t afford to see its universities pitch over the precipice. The Conversation https://theconversation.com/south-africa-cant-afford-to-see-its-universities-pitch-over-the-precipic PDF
Li GQ, Liu FF, Li JQ, Liu QL, Chen SF. (2017) Botryosphaeriaceae from Eucalyptus plantations and adjacent plants in China. Persoonia 10.3767/persoonia.2018.40.03 PDF