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

Zlatkovic M, Wingfield MJ, Jami F, Slippers B. (2019) Genetic uniformity characterizes the invasive spread of Neofusicoccum parvum and Diplodia sapinea in the Western Balkans. Forest Pathology 49:e12491. 10.1111/efp.12491
du Plessis E, Granados GM, Barnes I, Ho WH, Alexander BJR, Roux J, McTaggart AR. (2019) The pandemic strain of Austropuccinia psidii causes myrtle rust in New Zealand and Singapore. Australasian Plant Pathology :1-4. 10.1007/s13313-019-0624-x
Fitza KNE, Garnas JR, Lombardero MJ, Ayres MP, Krivak-Tetley FE, Ahumada R, Hurley BP, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2019) The global diversity of Deladenus siricidicola in native and non-native populations. Biological Control 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2019.01.014
Pham NQ, Barnes I, Chen SF, Liu FF, Dang NQ, Pham TQ, Lombard L, Crous PW, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Ten new species of Calonectria from Indonesia and Vietnam. Mycologia 10.1080/00275514.2018.1522179 PDF
Nsibo DL, Barnes I, Kunene NT, Berger DK. (2019) Influence of farming practices on the population genetics of the maize pathogen Cercospora zeina in South Africa. Fungal Genetics and Biology 10.1016/j.fgb.2019.01.005