FABI News

FABI Events

FABI in a nutshell

Research Features

This research programme focuses on bacterial diseases of trees, both plantation and native tree species and to a lesser extent, fruit trees. We have two major research focuses – one on taxonomy and the other on pathogenicity factors exhibited by a select group of pathogens. The taxonomic research involves identifying new species using modern approaches, mainly in the Enterobacteriaceae. The majority of bacteria we have identified thus far have been opportunistic plant pathogens whilst others have been associated with plants as endophytes. This has led to a number of studies where we have attempted to understand how these opportunists can function as successful plant pathogens despite the fact that they occur in other ecological niches which are often diverse, such as in diesel fuel.

Our interest has primarily been on Pantoea ananatis and related Pantoea species, although we do have research projects on Xanthomonas spp. and Ralstonia solanacearum. P. ananatis is responsible for bacterial blight and die-back of Eucalyptus, brown stalk rot of maize and occurs on onion seed in South Africa. Our studies have centred on taxonomy and on developing rapid and reliable methods of distinguishing between the species of Pantoea. We are now expanding this research and are using a phylogenomic approach to examine this genus. Other elements currently under investigation include understanding the epidemiology and biology of primarily P. ananatis, but this has been expanded to include the other pathogens mentioned above as well. We have identified a number of pathogenicity factors in P. ananatis and this has given us some insight into its life as a phytopathogen. The approach we have used has involved both comparative and functional genomics. The pathogenicity factors investigated have included motility, Type VI secretion system, quorum sensing and exopolysaccharide production.

New Publications

Hiroyuki S, Marincowitz S, Roux J, Paap T, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ. (2024) A new genus and species of Cryphonectriaceae causing stem cankers on plantation eucalypts in South Africa. Plant Pathology :1-14. 10.1111/ppa.13883 PDF
Mapfumo P, Buthelezi S, Archer E, Swanevelder DZH, Wilken PM, Creux N. (2024) In-field climatic factors driving Sclerotinia head rot progression across different sunflower planting dates. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13873
Price J-L, Visagie CM, Meyer H, Yilmaz N. (2024) Fungal species and mycotoxins Associated with Maize ear rots collected from the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Toxins 16:95. 10.3390/toxins16020095
Tarigan M, Wingfield MJ, Jami F, Marpaung YMAN, Duran A, Pham NQ. (2024) Pathogenicity of Chrysoporthe deuterocubensis on eucalypts in Indonesia. Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science 10.2989/20702620.2023.2279054
MISEV Consortium, Motaung T. (2024) Minimal information for studies of extracellular vesicles (MISEV2023): From basic to advanced approaches. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles 13(2):e12404. 10.1002/jev2.12404
Pham NQ, Suzuki H, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Barnes I, Duran A, Wingfield MJ. (2024) Cryptic sexual reproduction in an emerging Eucalyptus shoot and foliar pathogen. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13876
Francinah M. Ratsoma, Nthabiseng Z. Mokoena, Quentin C. Santana, Brenda D. Wingfield, Emma T. Steenkamp, Thabiso E. Motaung. (2024) Characterization of the Fusarium circinatum biofilm environmental response role. Journal of Basic Microbiology 00(00):1-16. 10.1002/jobm.202300536
Morrison EW, Duong TA, Garnas JR. (2024) A high-quality draft genome sequence of Neonectria faginata, causative agent of beech bark disease of Fagus grandifolia. Microbiology Resource Announcements 10.1128/mra.01048-23
Roberts E, Paap T, Roets F. (2024) Chemical control of the Polyphagous Shothole Borer beetle (PSHB, Euwallacea fornicatus) and Fusarium euwallaceae in American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s42161-023-01583-y
Fitza KNE, Allison J, Slippers B, Chingandu N, Reed SE. (2024) Diversity and potential sources of introduction of the Beech leaf nematode (Litylenchus crenatae< mccannii) to Ontario, Canada. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology
Engelbrecht K, Raubenheimer I, Paap T, Neethling E, Roets F. (2024) Detection of Fusarium euwallaceae and its vector Euwallacea fornicatus on Pear (Pyrus communis) and in deciduous fruit orchards in South Africa. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 19(1) 10.1007/s13314-023-00524-z PDF
Visagie CM, Meijer M, Kraak B, Groenewald M, Houbraken J, Theelen B, Vorst Y, Boekhout T. (2024) Blastobotrys nigripullensis, a new yeast species isolated from a fungal outbreak on an ancient Roman shipwreck in the Netherlands. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 117:22. 10.1007/s10482-023-01898-x
Hlongwane NL, Dzomba EF, Hadebe K, van der Nest MA, Pierneef R, Muchadeyi FC. (2024) Identification of signatures of positive selection that have shaped the genomic landscape of South African pig populations. Animals 14:235. 10.3390/ani14020236
De Vos L, van der Nest MA, Santana QC, van Wyk S, Leeuwendaal KS, Wingfield BD, Steenkamp ET. (2024) Chromosome-level assemblies for the pine pitch canker pathogen Fusarium circinatum. Pathogens 13(1):70. 10.3390/pathogens13010070
Chen BY, Wu WX, Chen SF. (2024) Wide distribution of Teratosphaeria epicoccoides and T. destructans associated with diseased Eucalyptus leaves in plantations in Southern China. Microorganisms 12:129. 10.3390/microorganisms12010129
Visagie CM, Yilmaz N, Kocsubé S, Frisvad JC, Hubka V, Samson RA, Houbraken J. (2024) A review of recently introduced Aspergillus, Penicillium, Talaromyces and other Eurotiales species. Studies in Mycology 107:1–66. 10.3114/sim.2024.107.01
Joubert M, van den Berg N, Theron J, Swart V. (2024) Global transcriptomic analysis in avocado nursery trees reveals differential gene expression during asymptomatic infection by avocado sunblotch viroid (ASBVd). Virus Research 339:199263. 10.1016/j.virusres.2023.199263. PDF
Crous PW, Costa MM, Kandemir H, Vermaas M, Vu D, Zhao L, Arumugam E, Flakus A, Jurjević Ž, Kaliyaperumal M, Mahadevakumar S, Murugadoss R, Shivas RG, Tan YP, Wingfield MJ, Abell SE, Marney TS, Danteswari C, Darmostuk V, Denchev CM, Denchev TT, Gené J, Etayo J, Gunaseelan S, Hubka V, Illescas T, Jansen GM, Kezo K, Kumar S, Larsson E, Mufeeda KT, Piatek M, Rodriguez-Flakus P, Sarma PVSRN, Stryjak-Bokacka M, Torres-Garcia D, Vauras J, Acal DA, Akulov A, Alhudaib K, Asif M, Balashov S, Baral H-O, Baturo-Cieśniewska A, Begerow D, Beja-Perreira A, Bianchinotti MV, Bilański P, Chandranayaka S, Chellappan N, Cowan DA, Custódio FA, Czachura P, Delgado G, De Silva NI, Dijksterhuis J, Dueñas M, Eisvand P, Fachada V, Fournier J, Fritsche Y, Fuljer F, Ganga KGG, Guerra MP, Hansen K, Hywel-Jones N, Ismail AM, Jacobs CR, Jankowiak R, Karich A, Kemler M, Kisło K, Klofac W, Krisai-Greilhuber I, Latha KPD, Lebeuf R, Lopes ME, Lumyong S, Maciá-Vicente JG, Maggs-Kölling G, Magistà D, Manimohan P, Martín MP, Mazur E, Mehrabi-Koushki M, Miller AN, Mombert A, Ossowska EA, Patejuk K, Pereira OL, Piskorski S, Plaza M, Podile AR, Polhorsky A, Pusz W, Raza W, Ruszkiewicz-Michalska M, Saba M, Sánchez RM, Singh R, Śliwa L, Smith ME, Stefenon VM, Strašiftáková D, Suwannarach N, Szczepańska K, Telleria MT, Tennakoon DS, Thines M, Thorn RG, Urbaniak J, van der Vegte M, Vasan V, Vila-Vićosa C, Voglmayr H, Wrzosek M, Zappelini J, Groenewald JZ. (2023) Fungal Planet description sheets: 1550-1613. Persoonia 51:280-417. 10.3767/persoonia.2023.51.08
Wilken PM, Lane FA, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2023) Unidirectional mating-type switching is underpinned by a conserved MAT1 locus architecture. Fungal genetics and Biology (103859) 10.1016/j.fgb.2023.103859
Schertler A, Thines M, Dawson W, van Kleunen M, Kreft H, Pergl J, Pyšek P, Weigelt P, Winter M, Seebens H, Wingfield MJ, Reino L, Lenzner B, Dellinger S, Moser D, Bufford JL, Ghelardini L, Santini A, Capinha C, Monteiro M, Essl F. (2023) Biogeography and global flows of 100 major alien fungal and fungus-like oomycete pathogens. Journal of Biogeography 10.1111/jbi.14755
van der Merwe E, Slippers B, Dittrich-Schröder G. (2023) Mechanical egg activation and rearing of first instar larvae of Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae). Insects 14(12):931. https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/14/12/931
Wingfield MJ, Marincowitz S, Barnes I, Tarigan M, Solís M, Duran A, Pham NQ. (2023) First report of phyllode rust on Acacia crassicarpa outside its native range. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12839
Fourie A, Venter S, Slippers B, Fourie G. (2023) Pantoea bathycoeliae sp. nov and a Sodalis sp. are core gut microbiome symbionts of the two-spotted stink bug. Frontiers in Microbiology :1-19. 10.3389/fmicb.2023.1284397 PDF
Rakubu IL, Katumanyane A, Hurley BP. (2023) Host-foraging strategies of five local entomopathogenic nematode species in South Africa. Crop Protection 176:106525. 10.1016/j.cropro.2023.106525
Barten H, Schröder ML, Slippers B, Howe AG, Lawson SA, Hurley BP. (2023) Reproductive compatibility of a newly imported Australian population of the biocontrol agent Anaphes nitens with an existing South African population. Biological Control 187:105403. 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2023.105403 PDF
Anbu SP, Swart V, van den Berg N. (2023) Unmasking the invaders: NLR-mal function in plant defense. Frontiers in Plant Science 14:1307294. 10.3389/fpls.2023.1307294 PDF
Pham NQ, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Barnes I, Duran A, Wingfield MJ. (2023) Characterisation of the mating-type loci in species of Elsinoe causing scab diseases. Fungal Biology 127:1484–1490. 10.1016/j.funbio.2023.11.003
Wu WX, Li WW, Liu FF, Chen SF. (2023) Evidence of High Genetic Diversity and Differences in the Population Diversity of the Eucalyptus Leaf Blight Pathogen Calonectria pseudoreteaudii from Diseased Leaves and Soil in a Plantation in Guangxi, China. Microorganisms (11) 10.3390/microorganisms11112785 PDF
Backer R, Naidoo S, van den Berg N. (2023) The expression of the NPR1-dependent defense response pathway genes in Persea americana (Mill.) following infection with Phytophthora cinnamomi. BMC Plant Biology 23(1):548. 10.1186/s12870-023-04541-z PDF
Rakubu IL, Katumanyane A, Hurley BP. (2023) Screening five local entomopathogenic nematode species for their virulence against pupae of the Eucalyptus snout beetle, Gonipterus sp. n. 2, under laboratory conditions . Crop Protection 176:106500. 10.1016/j.cropro.2023.106500
Omondi DO, Dida MM, Berger DK, Beyene Y, Nsibo DL, Juma C, Mahabaleswara SL, Gowda M. (2023) Combination of Linkage and Association Mapping with Genomic Prediction to Infer QTL Regions Associated with Gray Leaf Spot and Northern Corn Leaf Blight Resistance in Tropical Maize. Frontiers in Genetics 14:1-16. 10.3389/fgene.2023.1282673
Granados GM, Rodas CA, Vivas M, Wingfield MJ, Barnes I. (2023) Patterns of Dothistroma septosporum conidial dispersal in Colombian Pinus tecunumanii plantations. Forest Pathology (00):e12834. 10.1111/efp.12834
Bose T, Hammerbacher A, Spies CFJ, Coutinho TA. (2023) Phytophthora: an underestimated threat to agriculture, forestry, and natural ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa. Mycological Progress 22:78. 10.1007/s11557-023-01926-0
Robert Mangani, Kpoti M. Gunn, Nicky Creux. (2023) Projecting the effect of climate change on planting date and cultivar choice for South African dryland maize production. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 341(15):109695. 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109695
Wilson AM, Coetzee MPA, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2023) Needles in fungal haystacks: Discovery of a putative a-factor pheromone and a unique mating strategy in the Leotiomycetes. PLOS One 18(10):e0292619. 10.1371/ journal.pone.0292619 PDF
Visagie CM, Magistà D, Ferrara M, Balocchi F, Duong TA, Eichmeier A, Gramaje D, Aylward J, Baker SE, Barnes I, Calhoun S, De Angelis M, Frisvad JC, Hakalova E, Hayes RD, Houbraken J, Grigoriev IV, LaButti K, Leal C, Lipzen C, Ng V, Pangilinan J, Pecenka J, Perrone G, Piso A, Savage E, Spetik E, Wingfield MJ, Zhang Y, Wingfield BD. (2023) IMA genome-F18 - The reidentification of Penicillium genomes available in the NCBI and draft genomes for Penicillium species from dry cured meat, Penicillium biforme, P. brevicompactum, P. solitum, and P. cvjetkovicii, Pewenomyces kutranfy, Pew. tapulicola, Pew. kalosus, Teratosphaeria carnegiei, and Trichoderma atroviridae SC1. IMA Fungus 14(21) 10.1186/s43008-023-00121-w
Welgemoed T, Duong TA, Barnes I, Stukenbrock EH, Berger DK. (2023) Population genomic analyses suggest recent dispersal events of the pathogen Cercospora zeina into East and Southern African maize cropping systems. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics 10.1093/g3journal/jkad214
Wingfield MJ, Pham NQ, Marincowitz S, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Wilson AM. (2023) Blast from the past: a study of decades-old fungal cultures resolves a long-standing tree disease mystery. Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s42161-023-01502-1
Tarigan M, Wingfield MJ, Marpaung YMAN, Duran A, Pham NQ. (2023) Quambalaria eucalypti found on Eucalyptus in Indonesia. Forest Pathology :e12829. 10.1111/efp.12829 PDF
Narh Mensah DL , Wingfield BD, Coetzee MPA. (2023) A practical approach to genome assembly and annotation of Basidiomycota using the example of Armillaria. BioTechniques 10.2144/btn-2023-0023
Avontuur JR, Wilken PM, Palmer M, Coetzee MPA, Stępkowski T, Venter SN, Steenkamp ET. (2023) Complex evolutionary history of photosynthesis in Bradyrhizobium. Microbial Genomics 9(9) 10.1099/mgen.0.001105
Oliveira LS, Saha MA, Jami F, Asfa R, Maretha MV, Sipayung J, Tarigan M, Duran A. (2023) Identification, pathogenicity and control of powdery mildew caused by Erysiphe elevata on Eucalyptus pellita in Sumatra, Indonesia. . Forest Pathology 53(5):e12825. 10.1111/efp.12825
Anneri Lötter, Tuan A Duong, Julia Candotti, Eshschar Mizrachi, Jill L Wegrzyn, Alexander A Myburg. (2023) Haplogenome assembly reveals structural variation in Eucalyptus interspecific hybrids. GigaScience 12 10.1093/gigascience/giad064
Balocchi F, Barnes I, Wingfield MJ, Ahumada R, Visagie CM. (2023) New Resinogalea species from Araucaria araucana resin in Chile and reclassification of the genus in the Cryptocaliciomycetidae. IMA Fungus 14 10.1186/s43008-023-00122-9 PDF
Claassens R, Venter SN, Beukes CW, Stępkowski T, Chan WY, Steenkamp ET. (2023) Bradyrhizobium xenonodulans sp. nov. isolated from nodules of Australian Acacia species invasive to South Africa. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 10.1016/j.syapm.2023.126452
Johannes Joubert, Benice Sivparsad, Michelle Schroder, Ilaria Germishuizen, Jingyuan Chen, Brett Hurley, Jeremy Allison, Almuth Hammerbacher. (2023) Susceptibility of Eucalyptus trees to defoliation by the Eucalyptus snout beetle, Gonipterus sp. n. 2, is enhanced by high foliar contents of 1,8-cineole, oxalic acid and sucrose and low contents of palmitic and shikimic acid. Plant, Cell & Environment 10.1111/pce.14696 PDF
Pham NQ, Wingfield MJ, Marincowitz S, Tanga AA, Tiki KR, Kassie WB, Hurley BP, Germishuizen I, Lawson SA, Healey MA, Wondafrash M. (2023) First report of the wattle rust pathogen, Uromycladium acaciae (Raveneliaceae, Pucciniales) in Ethiopia. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research :1–8. 10.1093/forestry/cpad040
Swanepoel S, Visser EA, Shuey SS, Naidoo S. (2023) The In Planta Gene Expression of Austropuccinia psidii in Resistant and Susceptible Eucalyptus grandis. Phytopathology 113(6):1066-1076. 10.1094/PHYTO-07-22-0257-R PDF
Jami F, Botha W. (2023) Pythium and related species on blueberry plants in South Africa. Journal of Phytopathology 10.1111/jph.13213
Paap T, Marincowitz S, Pham NQ, Roets F, Basson RJ, Wingfield BD, Oberlander K, Wingfield MJ. (2023) A novel species of Microsphaeropsis causing cankers on Rafnia amplexicaulis in South Africa. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 12:73-80. 10.3114/fuse.2023.12.05 PDF