From 1-4 August, FABI researchers took part the in 54th Annual meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology hosted virtually from Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa. The meeting was divided into six plenary sessions, each addressing a different aspect of microbial biological control. Along with the plenary sessions, each day also included several concurrent Q&A sessions on the divisions of Fungi, Bacteria, Nematodes, and Microsporidia.

Invertebrate pathology is a rapidly growing area of research at FABI, with a number of projects investigating the use of insect pathogens for management of pests. This was reflected by various presentations by FABI students and postdocs at the congress.

Presentations by FABIans:

Dr Katrin Fitza - Characterising Deladenus (Rhabditida, Nematoda) species associated with Siricidae in North America from preserved specimens

Dr Agil Katumanyane - Entomopathogenic nematodes isolated from white grubs (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in South Africa

Dr Wilma Nel - Entomopathogens tested for their efficacy against the invasive polyphagous shot hole borer, Euwallacea fornicatus

Marizanne Jones - Diversity of fungal entomopathogens of Gonipterus sp. 2 in South African Eucalyptus plantations

Firehiwot Eshetu - Variation in the reproduction of the biological control nematode Deladenus siricidicola on Amylostereum areolatum strains

Sumari Venter - The genetics of the interactions between the invasive forest pest, Sirex noctilio and its biocontrol agent, Deladenus siricidicola

Innocent Rakubu - Efficacy, host-finding ability, and application of entomopathogenic nematodes on pupae of Gonipterus sp. 2