FABI team returns to the Cederberg for sampling 2021-09-13
Members of the FABI team including Prof. Mike Wingfield, Prof. Brenda Wingfield and Dr Trudy Paap met up with colleagues Prof. Francois Roets, Dr Casper Crous, Dr Gabi Kietzka and Mr Handré Basson from Stellenbosch University to sample declining trees in the Cederberg mountains. This field sampling followed a similar event in 2020, focused on identifying putative pathogens as well as fungi associated with wood-infesting beetles on the Clanwilliam cedar, Widdringtonia (cedarbergensis) wallichii. Work specifically on the yeast fungi associated with the insects is being conducted in collaboration with colleagues at Duke University in the USA. These and other fungi also form part of the MSc studies of Handré Basson, co-advised by Proff. Roets and Wingfield. The team also collected samples relating to diseases of fynbos plants other than cedars, and that form components of various FABI and University of Stellenbosch studies. Colleagues Mr Mashudu Nndanduleni and Mr Mpendulo Gabayi from Kirstenbosch Gardens, involved in collaborative research with Dr Trudy Paap and linked to a SANBI supported Botanical Gardens project in FABI, joined the group for part of the excursion.