FABIans contribute to special issues in two scientific journals commemorating the International Year of Plant Health
The United Nations has declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH), in recognition of the urgent need for greater global collaboration to protect plant health.
We are excited to connect with you on 20 January for our Southern African Society for Plant Pathology(SASPP) hybrid meeting at Future Africa at the University of Pretoria.
Forty FABIans from the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) and Grain Research programme (GRP) got their hands dirty replanting 200 pine and 1500 Eucalyptus seedlings into potting bags at the last tree planting event for 2020 on 27 November. This year’s tree planting also included students from the GRP who harvested maize leaves.
Drs David Nsibo and Mahlane Godfrey Kgatle in the Grain Research Program (GRP) planted the first maize cultivar trials and configured a weather station on 19 November at Rocky Park Farm in Ugie, Eastern Cape.
Mike Wingfield once again included on the 2020 Clarivate Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers list
FABI congratulates Prof. Mike Wingfield, Founding Director of the Institute for being included on the 2020 Clarivate Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers list - the fourth consecutive year he has achieved this status.
During the week of 9 November, a FABI team including Prof. Mike Wingfield, Prof. Brenda Wingfield, Dr Trudy Paap, Dr Mesfin Gossa and Dr Hiroyuki Suzuki visited botanical gardens in the Western Cape Province.
Arthropod genomics and their applications on plant health explored in the sixth installment of the FABI International Seminar Series
Renowned insect genomics expert Professor Robert Waterhouse presented the sixth lecture in the FABI International Seminar Series on 29 October.
When you think of the southern Cape, you think of the Tsitsikamma: long beaches and the rolling mountains that follow the N2 freeway. In addition to collecting these important logs team members, Prof.
Some of the most impressive, and in fact some of the earliest, clonal eucalypt plantations can be found on the KwaZulu-Natal Coast of South Africa.
The Avocado Research Programme (ARP) in FABI hosted its annual Student Presentation Day on 15 October.
During the week of 5-9 October the members of the Tree Protection Co-operative (TPCP) in FABI conducted the first national monitoring field trip for this year. The survey of these pests, during two seasons per year, aims to evaluate parasitism levels over time, between different Eucalyptus hosts and between different Eucalyptus growing regions of South Africa. The monitoring trips will continue into December, and include Limpopo, central Mpumalanga and lowveld, southern KZN and midlands, and the Eastern Cape.
Relatively regular reports of trees dying in various parts of Gauteng have emerged during the course of the past five years. One of the areas where trees have been reported dying is in the Hennops river valley, where especially white stinkwood (Celtis africana) and karee (Searsia lancea) are most seriously affected.
Congratulations to Prof. Wilhelm de Beer who was awarded this year’s Distinguished Forestry Award by the Southern African Institute of Forestry (SAIF).
During the week of 5 October and three months after these inoculations, Tanay, along with FABIans Josephine Queffelec and Matthew Jackson, harvested this trial with the assistance of Sappi's scientific and non-scientific staff members.
The fifth presentation in FABI’s popular International Seminar Series was by Prof. Katherine also spoke about the Global Burden of Crop Loss, an initiative she is participating in that is modelled after the Global Burden of Disease initiative in human health, which has transformed health policy research, over the last 25 years through better use of data. Click here to view the Global Burden of Crop Loss presentation.
A team of students and interns from theTPCP and CPHB in FABI, took on the mammoth task of packaging a large number maize seed cultivars.
In the study recently published in Molecular Ecology by Mostert-O’Neill et al., the population structure and patterns of genetic differentiation of E. grandis was determined in terms of neutral and adaptive genetic diversity in 596 individuals sampled from 32 provenances covering the natural species range.
On 3 September, Dr Gerda Fourie, research leader of the Macadamia Protection Programme (MPP) and Prof. Zander Myburg, research leader of the Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) Programme participated in a live webinar.
On 2 September, several FABIans that form part of the bark beetle mycobiome research network took part in their 9th virtual meeting.
The plant pathogenic bacterium Xylella fastidiosa under the spotlight at FABI’s monthly International Seminar
The plant pathogenic bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is a devastating pathogen that poses a huge threat to crops and the environment. The bacterium was first reported in 1892 by Newton Pierre as ‘California vine disease’ but it was not isolated until 1978. Dr Jacques explained how comparative genomics was used to track the introduction of X.
Twenty two members of the FMG research group in FABI attended this year's virtual-hosted ASPB Plant Biology Worldwide Summit 2020.
It has been just over four years since the SANBI-funded postdoctoral project ‘Monitoring plant health in sentinel sites: botanical gardens and arboreta’ started.
FABI congratulates Prof. Mike Wingfield on winning the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Annual Theme Award: Plant Health.
Three researchers from the FABI Grain Research Programme, Dr David Nsibo, Dr Godfrey Kgatle and PhD candidate Pfano Mbedzi, visited farms in the Eastern Cape from 12-17 July.
FABI Director, Prof. Bernard Slippers along with Prof. Brett Hurley and Darryl Herron embarked on a field trip to the southern Cape during the week of 29 June.
On 8 May, the CFTPP Team at CERC planted Eucalyptus urophylla genotypes in experimental plot that will be used for experiments on the biology of Calonectria species that cause a serious leaf blight disease.
FABI runs numerous Journal Clubs. Importantly these have continued to meet during the COVID-19 lockdown, albeit using virtual platforms.
Despite the many complications relating to the global CoViD-19 crisis, FABI has continued to maintain substantial research momentum.
Members of the TPCP Diagnostic Clinic learn more about forestry in Mpumalanga and KZN during their annual training trip
Members of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) Diagnostic Clinic team travelled to Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal in March for the annual Diagnostic Clinic training trip.
February's extension trip took Caitlin Gevers, Darryl Herron, Daniella Kramer and Jenna-Lee Price to some exotic locations around Mkhondo in Mpumalanga, the wild lands of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Greytown and Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal.
At the FABI Biocontrol Centre on the experimental farm of the university, several living collections of organisms are being maintained, particularly for the TPCP Biocontrol research.
Congratulations to Kira Lynn for obtaining her Masters degree cum laude.
Elisa Pal, a PhD candidate in FABI’s Macadamia Protection Programme explains how she cares for her colony of stink bugs during the Covid-19 lockdown.
FABI signs MoU with Cropwatch Africa to advance national Plant Health management research and service
The Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria (UP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with specialised service provider Cropwatch Africa.
FABI hosted a visit by two research and development specialists from the Brazilian-based forestry company Suzano Pulp and Paper. During their visit to FABI on 12 March, the visitors participated in a round table discussion including FABI Director Prof.
Macadamia Protection Programme research group leader, Dr Gerda Fourie, PhD candidate Angel Maduke and MSc student Ashleigh Smith visited research collaborators Prof. Andre Drenth and Prof. Femi Akinsanmi from the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) at the University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia, from 15-29 February.
FABI celebrated the first publications in an ISI-rated scientific journal of four FABI postgraduate students in the TPCP and CTHB groups at a gathering on 27 February. Publications: Katumanyane A. Messal M. van Wyk S. Lynn K.
The Hans Merensky Chair in Avocado Research has been established at FABI within the Avocado Research Programme (ARP).
The research team in FABI that works with bark and ambrosia beetles, are currently part of an international collaborative project with American peers, funded jointly by die National Research Foundation (NRF) and National Science Foundation (NSF).
The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) in FABI hosted a “Data Jamboree” on 7 February that saw 44 students in the research programme spend the day capturing historical data from the disease clinic.
FABI would like to congratulate Joey Hulbert on becoming the first FABIan to successfully fulfill all requirements for completion of their PhD in 2020.
Forty eight students from the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) in FABI braved cool, wet and muddy conditions on the morning of 24 January to replant 1,500 seedlings into potting bags.
The 28th Annual Plant and Animal Genome Conference (PAG XXVIII) was held in San Diego, USA from 11-15 January.
FABI PhD candidate Quentin Guignard bagged a R30,000 cash prize paid towards attending an international conference of his choice after winning a writing competition held in conjunction with the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) and The Conversation Africa.
Following discussions on the way forward for FABI in 2020, the Tree protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) management committee members briefed students and staff at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa campus on 17 January.
The United Nations (UN) has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH-2020). This will be "to raise awareness of the importance and impacts of plant health in addressing issues of global importance, including hunger, poverty, threats to the environment and economic development".
FABIans look forward to outstanding science and exciting developments at 2020 opening and welcome breakfast
FABI will be the place to be in 2020 for plant health research and events marking the United Nation’s International Year of Plant Health (IYPH 2020) said Prof. Bernard Slippers at the Institute’s opening on 13 January.
The First Annual Meeting of the HOMED project was held from 27-29 November in Padova, Italy.
The University of Pretoria's Department of Zoology and Entomology held its annual general meeting on 28-29 November.
The French-South African Science and Innovation Days was held in the CSIR from 2-3 December.
The Australasian Plant Pathology Society (APPS) celebrated its 50th anniversary at their 22nd Biennial conference in Melbourne from 25-28 November. They met up with a number of FABIans at the meeting.
FABI has ended the year on a high with the promotion of staff members and international recognition as leaders in their field.
The IUFRO Working Party 7.03.13 meeting on the ‘Biological Control of Forest Insect Pests and Pathogens’ was hosted by FABI from 5-8 November.
From 3-5 November, participants from Government research institutes and universities gathered at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Campus, for a Forest Invasive Species Network for Africa (FISNA) workshop on the implementation of classical biological control to manage insect pests in plantation forests.
FABI’s Dr Trudy Paap and collaborator Dr Alberto Santini (CNR ISPP, Italy) attended and contributed to a workshop on “Frameworks used in Invasion Science” organised by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB) in held in Stellenbosch from 11-13 November.