Following a successful two-day symposium on global tree health, Professors Ying Zhang and Wei He presented special seminars at FABI on May 19. The two researchers are collaborators in a research project jointly funded by the National Research Foundation in South Africa and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

Led by FABI Extraordinary Lecturer Dr. Draginja Pavlic-Zupanc, the aim of the project is to survey the distribution and diversity of Botryosphaeriaceae, which cause cankers on forest and fruit trees, in woody plants in China and South Africa. The project will contribute to barcoding datasets of Botryosphaeriaceae to the International Barcode of Life project, MycoBank and GenBank for easy access to data as well as the accurate and quick identification of these pathogens.

Prof. Yhang of the Institute of Microbiology at the Beijing Forestry University in China presented a “Summary of Botryosphaeriaceous fungi in China” focusing on three biodiversity hotspots. The aim of her  study is to identify the biology and taxonomy of Botryosphaeria in China. Prof. He of the Chinese Academy of Forestry presented a seminar titled: “Pathogen, pathogenicity and epidemic of Poplar canker”. He chronicled the identification of Lonsdalea quercina subsp. populi as the causal agent of cankers in Populus x euramericana, a commercially important tree in China.