Numerous CTHB projects aim to improve our understanding regarding the biology and ecology of the microbes and insects associated with woody hosts indigenous to South Africa.

The tree species receiving most attention are Syzygium cordatum, Syzygium guineense, Acacia karroo, Acacia mellifera, Acacia erioloba, Adansonia digitata, Pterocarpus angolensis, Sclerocarya birrea, Rapanea melanophloeos, Colophospermum mopane, Aloe plictilis and species in the Proteaceae, Rutaceae, Rubiaceae and the genera Virgillia and Terminalia.

The specific microbes that are targeted include 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 CTHB 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

Musvuugwa T, De Beer ZW, Dreyer LL, Duong T, Marincowitz S, Oberlander KC, Roets F. (2020) New ophiostomatoid fungi from wounds on storm-damaged trees in Afromontane forests of the Cape Floristic Region. Mycological Progress 19(1):81-95. 10.1007/s11557-019-01545-8
Nagel J, Cruywagen EM, Machua J, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2020) Highly transferable microsatellite markers for the genera Lasiodiplodia and Neofusicoccum. Fungal Ecology 44:100903. 10.1016/j.funeco.2019.100903
Rauf MRBA, McTaggart AR, Marincowitz S, Barnes I, Japarundin Y, Wingfield MJ. (2020) Pathogenicity of Chrysoporthe deuterocubensis and Myrtoporthe bodenii gen. et sp. nov. on Eucalyptus in Sabah, Malaysia. Plant Pathology 49(1):53-64. 10.1007/s13313-019-00676-6
Guo Y, Hunziker L, Mesarich CH, Chettri P, Dupont PY, Ganley RJ, McDougal RL, Barnes I, Bradshaw RE. (2020) DsEcp2-1 is a polymorphic effector that restricts growth of Dothistroma septosporum in pine. Fungal Genetics and Biology 135:103300. 10.1016/j.fgb.2019.103300
Aylward J, Havenga M, Dreyer LL, Roets F, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ. (2020) Genomic characterization of mating type loci and mating type distribution in two apparently asexual plantation tree pathogens. Plant Pathology 69:28-37. 10.1111/ppa.13094 PDF