Two PhD students, Ronishree Mangwanda and Caryn Oates, postdoctoral fellow María Vivas, and a senior lecturer, Irene Barnes, attended and presented their research findings at the 5th International Workshop on the Genetics of Tree-Parasite Interactions. The Workshop was held from 23-28 August in the city of Orléans in France, and brought together phytopathologists, entomologists, geneticists, evolutionary biologists, breeders and managers.

The main topics of the Workshop were:

• Resistance / tolerance and virulence / aggressiveness mechanisms

• Breeding and management strategies for durable resistance in a changing environment

• Host-parasite co-evolution

• Novel host-parasite interactions due to emerging or non-native pests and pathogens

• Population genetics of pests, pathogens and vectors.

• New frontiers in tree-parasite interactions: from genes to landscape and communities

The FABIans also visited public and a private forests, where they had the opportunity to have a closer look at pine red band needle blight, poplar rust and oak dieback.

The titles of their presentations were:

Caryn Oates, Myburg A, Slippers B, Naidoo S, Denby K. A preliminary view of Leptocybe invasa-induced gall development and host transcriptional responses in a susceptible Eucalyptus grandis hybrid clone.

Ronishree Mangwanda, Van der Merwe A, Myburg A, Naidoo S. Transcriptional profiling of Eucalyptus grandis and Chrysoporthe austroafricana elucidates host defence mechanisms and putative pathogenicity strategies.

Maria Vivas, Kemler M, Slippers B. Environmental maternal effects on the early phenotype and resistance of Eucalyptus grandis and the structuring of fungal endophytic communities.

Irene Barnes, Rodas CA, Granados GM, Wingfield MJ. A population genetics approach yields and enhanced understanding of the Dothistroma needle blight invasion in Colombia.