Numerous CPHB projects aim to improve our understanding regarding the biology and ecology of the microbes and insects associated with agricultural plants and native woody hosts in South Africa.

Some of the microbes that are targeted belong to species in the Botryosphaeriaceae, Cryphonectriaceae and Uredinales (Ravenelia, Puccinia and Uromyces), as well as the genera Armillaria, Ganoderma, Fusarium, Mycosphaerella, Phellinus, Ceratocystis, Gondwanamyces, Coniothyrium (Colletogloeopsis / Phaeophleospora / Kirramyces), Cylindrocladium, Dothistroma, Pantoea, Ophiostoma, Candidatus Liberibacter africanus and Phytophthora.

The insects currently receiving most attention include bark beetles, bruchid beetles, as well as Coryphodema tristis and a number of species that could possibly be used in biocontrol programmes.

Various CPHB projects also consider the ecology and population biology of specific tree species to evaluate the effect that human practices (e.g. timber harvesting, coppicing, bark stripping, etc.) might have on the target plant, ecosystems and the conservation of natural habitats. Many further focus on the possible impacts that soil properties, nutrients, rhizobial symbioses and climatic factors might have on the invasiveness of certain species in diverse landscapes. A small number of projects also aim to investigate the effects that drought, frost and fire might have on the sustainable usage of indigenous woody resources.

New Publications

Morgan SW, Read DA, Burger JT, Pietersen G. (2023) Diversity of viroids infecting grapevines in the South African Vitis germplasm collection. Virus Genes 10.1007/s11262-023-01971-7
Hiroyuki S, Marincowitz S, Roux J, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ. (2023) First report of canker caused by Chrysoporthe austroafricana on the plantation-grown eucalypt Corymbia henryi in South Africa. Forestry :1-9. 10.1093/forestry/cpac054
Bose T, Dovey S, Brachmann A, Witfeld F, Begerow D, Kemler M, Roux J, Slippers B, Vivas M, Wingfield MJ. (2023) Retention of post-harvest residues enhances soil fungal biodiversity in Eucalyptus plantations. Forest Ecology and Management 532:120806. 10.1016/j.foreco.2023.120806
David Read, Bernard Slippers, Emma Steenkamp. (2022) Genomic characterization of a novel potyvirus infecting Barleria repens in South Africa. Archives of Virology 10.1007/s00705-022-05662-w
Bian C, Takashi H, Houbraken J, Visagie CM, Ban S, Yaguchi T, D'hooge E, Sklenár F, Kusuya Y, Hubka V. (2022) Reducing the number of accepted species in Aspergillus series Nigri. Studies in Mycology 102:95–132. 10.3114/sim.2022.102.03