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Dr. Michelle Schroder, a postdoctoral fellow at FABI is spending two months collaborating with researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s (USC) Forest Industries Research Centre. This visit, funded by an Australian Award Fellowship, will see Michelle undertake an extensive field survey of the Eucalyptus snout-beetle, Gonipterus spp. and search for matching wasps that parasitise this weevil’s eggs or larvae along Australia’s east coast.

This research project is part of a global collaboration that includes Brazilian, Chilean, Portuguese and South African (FABI) partners, led by USC, which is aimed at targeting Australian-origin eucalypt pests.

This native Australian weevil is a serious pest of Eucalyptus trees and weevil outbreaks have increased in South Africa in recent decades, after almost a century of seemingly acceptable biological control by a parasitoid wasp Anaphes nitens Girault.

The aim of Michelle’s work with USC is to find a parasitoid wasp species that is a better match to combat the weevil, and is also better adapted to certain South African climate conditions.

Until quite recently, Gonipterus was thought to be just one species, but it is now known that it is actually eight (or more) different species and Michelle hopes that the project will give South Africa a better matched biocontrol agent.

New Publications

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Human ZR, Crous CJ, Roets F, Venter SN, Wingfield MJ, de Beer ZW. (2017) Biodiversity and ecology of flower-associated actinomycetes in different flowering stages of Protea repens. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 10.1007/s10482-017-0942-3
McTaggart AR, Beasley DR, Wingfield MJ, Wood AR, Pretorius ZA, Drenth A, Shivas RG, Roux J. (2017) A dynamic, web-based resource to identify rust fungi (Pucciniales) in southern Africa. MycoKeys 26:77-83. 10.3897/mycokeys.26.14602
De Maayer P, Aliyu H, Vikram S, Blom J, Duffy B, Cowan DA, Smits THM, Venter SN, Coutinho TA. (2017) Phylogenomic, pan-genomic, pathogenomic and evolutionary genomic insights into the agronomically relevant enterobacteria Pantoea ananatis and Pantoea stewartii. Frontiers in Microbiology 8(1755) 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01755
Jami F, Wingfield MJ, Gryzenhout M, Slippers B. (2017) Diversity of tree-infecting Botryosphaeriales on native and non-native trees in South Africa and Namibia. Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-017-0516-x
Stewart JE, Ross-Davis AL, Graҫa RN, Alfenas AC, Peever TL, Hanna JW, Uchida JY, Hauff RD, Kadooka CY, Kim MS, Cannon PG, Namba S, Simeto S, Pérez CA, Rayamajhi MB, Lodge DJ, Arguedas M, Medel-Ortiz R, López-Ramirez MA, Tennant P, Glen M, Machado PS, McTaggart AR, Carnegie AJ, Klopfenstein NB, Cleary M. (2017) Genetic diversity of the myrtle rust pathogen (Austropuccinia psidii) in the Americas and Hawaii: Global implications for invasive threat assessments. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12378