Pine pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum is one of the more important threats to plantation forestry in South Africa. A research focus on this disease is consequently one of priorities of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) at FABI.  During the past week, Prof. Mike Wingfield joined team members Dr Lieschen de Vos and MSc student Alida van Dijk to collect Pinus patula for Alida to test the virulence of her knock-out mutants under laboratory conditions. The group was assisted by Lindiwe Tawala and Maron Ngomane of the forestry company York Timbers, that kindly provided the required material.  After collecting the material, many hours were spent preparing the material for inoculations. The hope is that the research will bring the team closer to understanding the molecular basis of pathogenicity in F. circinatum.