26 Nov 2020

Researchers in the GRP lay the foundation for future research projects in Ugie, EC

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.


24 Nov 2020

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.


17 Nov 2020

Inspection of invasive disease and pest problems in SANBI's Cape gardens

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.


2 Nov 2020

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.


28 Oct 2020

TPCP team members visit the southern Cape

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.


26 Oct 2020

TPCP team members visit plantations on the KZN coast

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.


21 Oct 2020

The Hans Merensky Chair in Avocado Research hosts its annual student presentation day

The Avocado Research Programme (ARP) in FABI hosted its annual Student Presentation Day on 15 October.


20 Oct 2020

National monitoring of Eucalyptus pests and their biological control agents

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.


19 Oct 2020

Inspection of trees dying in the Hennops river valley

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.


15 Oct 2020

Prof. Wilhelm de Beer receives the SAIF Distinguished Forestry Award

Congratulations to Prof. Wilhelm de Beer who was awarded this year’s Distinguished Forestry Award by the Southern African Institute of Forestry (SAIF).


14 Oct 2020

Harvesting Phytophthora pathogenicity trials in the KZN midlands

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.


8 Oct 2020

Fifth FABI International Seminar explores disease resistance against necrotrophic fungal pathogens

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.


30 Sep 2020

National Maize Cultivar Evaluation Trials seed packing at FABI

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.


28 Sep 2020

New publication explores genetic diversity hidden within natural populations of Eucalyptus grandis

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.


17 Sep 2020

FABI presents at the SAMAC Webinar

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.


11 Sep 2020

FABIans participate in bark beetle mycobiome research network meeting

On 2 September, several FABIans that form part of the bark beetle mycobiome research network took part in their 9th virtual meeting.


2 Sep 2020

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.


11 Aug 2020

FMG members attend a virtual PB20 conference

Twenty two members of the FMG research group in FABI attended this year's virtual-hosted ASPB Plant Biology Worldwide Summit 2020.


4 Aug 2020

A webinar on Plant Health in Botanical Gardens amid the COVID-19 pandemic

It has been just over four years since the SANBI-funded postdoctoral project ‘Monitoring plant health in sentinel sites: botanical gardens and arboreta’ started.


31 Jul 2020

Mike Wingfield wins NSTF award

FABI congratulates Prof. Mike Wingfield on winning the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Annual Theme Award: Plant Health.


28 Jul 2020

Grain Research Programme field trip to the Eastern Cape

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.


17 Jul 2020

Fieldwork during a pandemic

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.


13 May 2020

CERC-FABI Tree Protection Team plant trees for research

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.


8 May 2020

FABI Journal Clubs continue during lockdown

FABI runs numerous Journal Clubs. Importantly these have continued to meet during the COVID-19 lockdown, albeit using virtual platforms.


4 May 2020

Research activities continue at the China Eucalyptus Research Centre (CERC)

Despite the many complications relating to the global CoViD-19 crisis, FABI has continued to maintain substantial research momentum.


28 Apr 2020

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.


23 Apr 2020

FABI extension trip covers two countries

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.


20 Apr 2020

Keeping the TPCP biocontrol research programme alive (literally) during lockdown

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.


20 Apr 2020

The ‘C’ word

Congratulations to Kira Lynn for obtaining her Masters degree cum laude.


17 Apr 2020

No break for insects!

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.


7 Apr 2020

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.


19 Mar 2020

Brazilian forestry researchers visit FABI

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.


5 Mar 2020

Macadamia Protection Program research visit to Australia

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.


3 Mar 2020

A celebration of women in science at the first TPCP-CTHB publication party in 2020

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.


27 Feb 2020

Hans Merensky Chair in Avocado Research established at FABI

The Hans Merensky Chair in Avocado Research has been established at FABI within the Avocado Research Programme (ARP).


27 Feb 2020

FABIans participate in NRF-NSF funded bark beetle mycobiome network

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).


19 Feb 2020

Data Jamboree at FABI

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.


31 Jan 2020

Joey Hulbert becomes the first FABIan to complete his PhD in 2020

FABI would like to congratulate Joey Hulbert on becoming the first FABIan to successfully fulfill all requirements for completion of their PhD in 2020.


29 Jan 2020

Tree Planting goes on despite wet conditions

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.


24 Jan 2020

FABIans attend PAG Conference

The 28th Annual Plant and Animal Genome Conference (PAG XXVIII) was held in San Diego, USA from 11-15 January.


23 Jan 2020

Quentin Guignard wins CTHB-The Conversation writing competition

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.


22 Jan 2020

FABI mancom members discuss strategy for 2020

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.


22 Jan 2020

FABI focusses on the United Nations 2020 International Year Of Plant Health

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".


16 Jan 2020

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.


6 Dec 2019

FABI participates in first annual meeting of the HOMED project

The First Annual Meeting of the HOMED project was held from 27-29 November in Padova, Italy.


6 Dec 2019

Two FABIans awarded the best presentation at the Zoology AGM

The University of Pretoria's Department of Zoology and Entomology held its annual general meeting on 28-29 November.


4 Dec 2019

FABIans feature at the French-SA Science and Innovation days

The French-South African Science and Innovation Days was held in the CSIR from 2-3 December.


29 Nov 2019

FABIans present at the Australasian Plant Pathology Society conference

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.


28 Nov 2019

FABI academics end the year on a high

FABI has ended the year on a high with the promotion of staff members and international recognition as leaders in their field.


22 Nov 2019

Researchers from 27 countries meet to discuss biological control of forest insect pests

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.


22 Nov 2019

FABI hosts the Forest Invasive Species Network for Africa

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.


22 Nov 2019

FABI contributes to CIB workshop

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.