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This website serves as a link and resource for the research and forestry community interested in the invasive pest, Sirex noctilio (the Sirex Woodwasp), and its control.

Just over 100 years has passed since the Eurasian woodwasp Sirex noctilio, first appeared outside its native range, in pine plantations of New Zealand. This alien invasive pest, together with its Amylostereum areolatum fungus symbiont, gradually spread, first to Australia and later, in the 1980's to South American countries. Sirex continues to spread in South America and alarmingly, in the early 1990's appeared for the first time on the African continent, in South Africa. Just two year's ago the wasp was encountered in New York and it is now known to be established in eastern North America. In every country where S. noctilio has become established, it has resulted in considerable damage and cost to local economies. There can be no doubt that the global spread of Sirex is set to continue. Special measures and a resurgence of research effort will clearly be required to contain the negative impacts of this scourge to global forests and forestry.

The first appearance of the Eurasian woodwasp in the southern hemisphere led to a period of intensive research on this pest. Substantial attention was given to control options that included the discovery and deployment of various biological control agents such as the wasp parasitoid Ibalia leucospoides and the parasitic nematode Deladenus siricidicola. These agents, together with silvicultural practices to reduce stress in plantations and stop the spread of the wasp, have yielded impressive control of Sirex, particularly in areas where Sirex first appeared. Control of Sirex in areas that it has more recently invaded has yielded variable and sometimes disappointing results. This could be attributed to factors relating to pine hosts new to Sirex, climatic conditions different to those where biological control has been effective, mismatch of biotypes of the wasp, its fungal symbiont or its parasites, or indeed a great number of other factors.

The website contains:

  • '07 SIREX SYMPOSIUM - View and download the program, abstracts and photographs of the 2007 Sirex Symposium in South Africa.
  • LITERATURE - View, download and contribute papers linked to Siricidae, their associated fungi, tree hosts, parasites and control programs.
  • LINKS - Sirex noctilio and Siricid related links

If you wish to contribute images or papers, or would like to join the SIREX LISTSERVER, linking the community of people working on this pest, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Bernard Slippers.

New Publications

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Human ZR, Crous CJ, Roets F, Venter SN, Wingfield MJ, de Beer ZW. (2017) Biodiversity and ecology of flower-associated actinomycetes in different flowering stages of Protea repens. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 10.1007/s10482-017-0942-3
Wingfield BD. (2017) The peer review system has flaws. But it’s still a barrier to bad science. The Conversation http://bit.ly/2holsgS
McTaggart AR, Beasley DR, Wingfield MJ, Wood AR, Pretorius ZA, Drenth A, Shivas RG, Roux J. (2017) A dynamic, web-based resource to identify rust fungi (Pucciniales) in southern Africa. MycoKeys 26:77-83. 10.3897/mycokeys.26.14602
De Maayer P, Aliyu H, Vikram S, Blom J, Duffy B, Cowan DA, Smits THM, Venter SN, Coutinho TA. (2017) Phylogenomic, pan-genomic, pathogenomic and evolutionary genomic insights into the agronomically relevant enterobacteria Pantoea ananatis and Pantoea stewartii. Frontiers in Microbiology 8(1755) 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01755
Jami F, Wingfield MJ, Gryzenhout M, Slippers B. (2017) Diversity of tree-infecting Botryosphaeriales on native and non-native trees in South Africa and Namibia. Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-017-0516-x
Stewart JE, Ross-Davis AL, Graҫa RN, Alfenas AC, Peever TL, Hanna JW, Uchida JY, Hauff RD, Kadooka CY, Kim MS, Cannon PG, Namba S, Simeto S, Pérez CA, Rayamajhi MB, Lodge DJ, Arguedas M, Medel-Ortiz R, López-Ramirez MA, Tennant P, Glen M, Machado PS, McTaggart AR, Carnegie AJ, Klopfenstein NB, Cleary M. (2017) Genetic diversity of the myrtle rust pathogen (Austropuccinia psidii) in the Americas and Hawaii: Global implications for invasive threat assessments. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12378
Roodt D, Lohaus R, Sterck L, Swanepoel RL, Van de Peer Y, Mizrachi E. (2017) Evidence for an ancient whole genome duplication in the cycad lineage. PLOS ONE 12(9):e0184454. 10.1371/journal.pone.0184454
Liebhold AM, Brockerhoff EG, Kalisz S, Nuñez MA, Wardle DA, Wingfield MJ. (2017) Biological invasions in forest ecosystems. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-017-1458-5
Amuge T, Berger DK, Katari MS, Myburg AA, Goldman SL, Ferguson ME. (2017) A time series transcriptome analysis of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) varieties challenged with Ugandan cassava brown streak virus. Scientific Reports 7:9747. 10.1038/s41598-017-09617-z
McTaggart AR, Shuey LS, Granados GM, du Plessis E, Fraser S, Barnes I, Naidoo S, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2017) Evidence that Austropuccinia psidii may complete its sexual life cycle on Myrtaceae. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12763
Wondafrash M, Slippers B, Garnas J, Hurley BP. (2017) Parasitoid assemblage associated with a North American pine weevil in South Africa. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12246
Nzuki I, Katari MS, Bredeson JV, Masumba E, Kapinga F, Salum K, Mkamilo GS, Shah T, Lyons JB, Rokhsar DS, Rounsley S, Myburg AA, Ferguson ME. (2017) QTL Mapping for Pest and Disease Resistance in Cassava and Coincidence of Some QTL with Introgression Regions Derived from Manihot glaziovii. Frontiers in Plant Science 8(1168) 10.3389/fpls.2017.01168
Mostert D, Molina AB, Daniells J, Fourie G, Hermanto C, Chao C-P, Fabregar E, Sinohin VG, Hossain MDS, Masdek N, Visarto P, Rajapakse C, Thanh DT, Thangavelu R, Li C, Yi G, Wei Y, Mostert L, Viljoen A. (2017) The distribution and host range of the banana Fusarium wilt fungus, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, in Asia. PLoS ONE 12(7):24. 10.1371/journal.pone.0181630
Masumba EA, Kapinga F, Mkamilo G, Salum K, Kulembeka H, Rounsley S, Bredeson JV, Lyons JB, Rokhsar DS, Kanju E, Katari MS, Myburg AA, van der Merwe NA, Ferguson ME. (2017) QTL associated with resistance to cassava brown streak and cassava mosaic diseases in a bi-parental cross of two Tanzanian farmer varieties, Namikonga and Albert. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 10.1007/s00122-017-2943-z
Fraser S, McTaggart AR, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2017) Effect of temperature, leaf wetness and the developmental stage of host tissue on infection of Acacia mearnsii by Uromycladium acaciae (Pucciniales). Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-017-0503-2
Jankowiak R, Strzałka B, Bilański P, Linnakoski R, Aas T, Solheim H, Groszek M, De Beer ZW. (2017) Two new Leptographium spp. reveal an emerging complex of hardwood-infecting species in the Ophiostomatales. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 10.1007/s10482-017-0905-8
Ozturk KI, Chettri P, Dupont P-Y, Barnes I, McDougal RL, Moore GG, Sim A, Bradshaw RE. (2017) Evolution of polyketide synthesis in a Dothideomycete forest pathogen. Fungal Genetics and Biology 10.1016/j.fgb.2017.07.001
Wilken PM, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW, Wingfield BD. (2017) Which MAT gene? Pezizomycotina (Ascomycota) mating-type gene nomenclature reconsidered. Fungal Biology Reviews 31:199-211. 10.1016/j.fbr.2017.05.003
Bush SJ, Dittrich-Schröder D, Neser S, Gevers C, Baffoe KO, Slippers B, Hurley BP. (2017) First record of Quadristichus mendeli, a parasitoid of Leptocybe invasa, in South Africa. Southern Forests 10.2989/20702620.2017.1318347
Beukes CW, Palmer M, Manyaka P, Chan W-Y, Avontuur JR, Van Zyl E, Huntemann M, Clum A, Pillay M, Palaniappan K, Varghese N, Mikhailova N, Stamatis D, Reddy TBK, Daum C, Shapiro N, Markowitz V, Ivanova N, Kyrpides N, Woyke T, Blom J, Whitman WB, Venter SN, Steenkamp ET. (2017) Genome data provides high support for generic boundaries in Burkholderia sensu lato. Frontiers in Microbiology 8 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01154
Hurley BP, Slippers B, Sathyapala S, Wingfield MJ. (2017) Challenges to planted forest health in developing economies. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-017-1488-z
Bouwer MC, Slippers B, Wingfield MJ, Allison JD, Rohwer ER. (2017) Optimization of Pheromone Traps for Coryphodema tristis (Lepidoptera: Cossidae) . Journal of Economic Entomology 10.1093/jee/tox171
du Plessis E, McTaggart AR, Granados GM, Wingfield MJ, Roux J, Pegg GS, Makinson J, Purcell M, Ali M. (2017) First report of myrtle rust caused by Austropuccinia psidi on Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Myrtaceae) from Singapore. Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-04-17-0530-PDN
Hussey SG, Loots MT, van der Merwe K, Mizrachi E, Myburg AA. (2017) Integrated analysis and transcript abundance modelling of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 in developing secondary xylem. Scientific Reports 7:3370. 10.1038/s41598-017-03665-1
Wingfield MJ, Barnes I, De Beer ZW, Roux J, Wingfield BD, Taerum SJ. (2017) Novel associations between ophiostomatoid fungi, insects and tree hosts: current status—future prospects. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-017-1468-3
Vivas M, Kemler M, Mphahlele MM, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2017) Maternal effects on phenotype, resistance and the structuring of fungal communities in Eucalyptus grandis. Environmental and Experimental Botany 140:120-127. 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2017.06.002
Miller A, Cai L, Crous PW, De Beer ZW, Hawksworth DL, Hyde KD, Kirk PM, Lücking R, Lumbsch HT, May TW, Rossman AY, Schoch CL, Seifert KA. (2017) Mycologists' committees strongly support changes to the governance of fungal nomenclature. IMA Fungus 8(1):(9)-(11). PDF
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
Mbenoun M, Garnas JR, Wingfield MJ, Begoude Boyogueno AD, Roux J. (2017) Metacommunity analyses of Ceratocystidaceae fungi across heterogeneous African savanna landscapes. Fungal Ecology 28:76-85. 10.1016/j.funeco.2016.09.007
Swart V, Crampton BG, Ridenour JB, 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 30(9):710-724. 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
Granados GM, McTaggart AR, Barnes I, Rodas CA, Roux J, Wingfield MJ. (2017) The pandemic biotype of Austropuccinia psidii discovered in South America. Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-017-0488-x
Van de Peer Y, Mizrachi E, Marchal K. (2017) The evolutionary significance of polyploidy. Nature Reviews Genetics 18:411-424. 10.1038/nrg.2017.26
Marin-Felix Y, Groenewald JZ, Cai L, Chen Q, Marincowitz S, Barnes I, Bensch K, Braun U, Camporesi E, Damm U, De Beer ZW, Dissanayake A, Edwards J, Giraldo A, Hernández-Restrepo M, Hyde KD, Jayawardena RS, Lombard L, Luangsa-ard J, McTaggart AR, Rossman AY, Sandoval-Denis M, Shen M, Shivas RG, Tan YP, van der Linde EJ, Wingfield MJ, Wood AR, Zhang JQ, Zhang Y, Crous PW. (2017) Genera of phytopathogenic fungi: GOPHY 1. Studies in Mycology 10.1016/j.simyco.2017.04.002
Guo H, Benndorf R, Leichnitz D, Klassen JL, Vollmers J, Görls H, Steinacker M, Weigel C, Dahse H-M, Kaster A-K, De Beer ZW, Poulsen M, Beemelmanns C. (2017) Isolation, biosynthesis and chemical modifications of rubterolones A-F, rare tropolone alkaloids from Actinomadura sp. 5-2. Chemistry – A European Journal 10.1002/chem.201701005
Kolařík M, Hulcr J, Tisserat N, De Beer ZW, Kostovčík M, Kolaříková Z, Seybold SJ, Rizzo DM. (2017) Geosmithia associated with bark beetles and woodborers in the western USA: Taxonomic diversity and vector specificity. Mycologia 10.1080/00275514.2017.1303861
Pavlic-Zupanc D, Maleme HM, Piškur B, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2017) Diversity, phylogeny and pathogenicity of Botryosphaeriaceae on non-native Eucalyptus grown in an urban environment: A case study. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 10.1016/j.ufug.2017.04.009
Venter SN, Palmer M, Beukes CW, Chan W-Y, Shin G, Van Zyl E, Seale T, Coutinho TA, Steenkamp ET. (2017) Practically delineating bacterial species with genealogical concordance. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 10.1007/s10482-017-0869-8
Marincowitz S, Duong TA, Heiniger U, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW. (2017) A new Leptographium species from the roots of declining Pinus sylvestris in Switzerland. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12346
Faulkner KT, Hurley BP, Robertson MP, Rouget M, Wilson JRU. (2017) The balance of trade in alien species between South Africa and the rest of Africa. Bothalia 47 10.4102/abc.v47i2.2157
Van der Linde JA, Wingfield MJ, Crous CJ, Six DL, Roux J. (2017) Landscape degradation may contribute to large-scale die-offs of Euphorbia ingens in South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 111:144-152. 10.1016/j.sajb.2017.03.022 PDF
Kenis M, Hurley BP, Hajek A, Cock MJW. (2017) Classical biological control of insect pests of trees: facts and figures. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-017-1414-4
Van der Linde JA, Six DL, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2017) Fungi and insects associated with Euphorbia ingens die-off in South Africa. Southern Forests 10.2989/20702620.2016.1263004 PDF
Conlon BH, Mitchell J, De Beer ZW, Carøe C, Gilbert MTP, Eilenberg J, Poulsen M, de Fine Licht HH. (2017) Draft genome of the fungus-growing termite pathogenic fungus Ophiocordyceps bispora (Ophiocordycipitaceae, Hypocreales, Ascomycota). Data in Brief 11:537–542. 10.1016/j.dib.2017.02.051 PDF
Palmer M, Steenkamp ET, Coetzee MPA, Chan W-Y, Van Zyl E, De Maayer P, Coutinho TA, Blom J, Smits THM, Duffy B, Venter SN. (2017) Phylogenomic resolution of the bacterial genus Pantoea and its relationship with Erwinia and Tatumella. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 10.1007/s10482-017-0852-4
Slippers B, Crous PW, Jami F, Groenewald JZ, Wingfield MJ. (2017) Diversity in the Botryosphaeriales : Looking back, looking forward. Fungal Biology 121(4):307-322. 10.1016/j.funbio.2017.02.002
Fan XL, Barreto RW, Groenewald JZ, Bezerra JDP, Pereira OL, Cheewangkoon R, Mostert L, Tian CM, Crous PW. (2017) Phylogeny and taxonomy of the scab and spot anthracnose fungus Elsinoë (Myriangiales, Dothideomycetes). Studies in Mycology 87:1-41. 10.1016/j.simyco.2017.02.001
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 PDF