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The Diagnostic Clinic of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) requests your assistance in keeping a lookout for two potential pest species of Eucalyptus on both commercial and ornamental trees in your area. The Shell lerp psyllid (Spondyliaspis sp.) and Eucalyptus gall was (Ophelimus maskelli) pose a potential threat to eucalypt plantations and the clinic has published an update on these pests:

Shell lerp psyllid (Spondyliaspis sp.)

The shell lerp psyllid (Spondyliaspis sp.) – so named due to the characteristic shape of the lerp – is a sap sucking insect, first reported from the Pretoria area in 2014. It has subsequently been found on non-commercial - or ornamental Eucalyptus species near Iswepe, White River, Tzaneen and Melkbosstrand in the Western Cape. Most recently however, this pest was found on commercial E. grandis trees in Swaziland, an E. grandis x E. camaldulensis (GC) hybrid clone near Tzaneen, and E. macarthurii trees near Iswepe. Although infestations at these locations were low, the incidence of this pest on commercial species raises concern over the potential of this insect to become a pest in plantations.  

Eucalyptus gall wasp (Ophelimus maskelli)

The Eucalyptus gall wasp (Ophelimus maskelli), is a gall forming wasp first detected on road side Eucalyptus trees in Midrand, Gauteng in 2014. It has since spread to other areas around Johannesburg and Pretoria, and was most recently reported from the Western Cape in the Stellenbosch area. This pest has not been reported from commercial plantations to date.

Early detection of both these potential pests in new areas will greatly assist in assessing their pest status and informing management strategies. To assist in the identification of these pests please refer to the attached photoplates for symptoms and characteristic features and please report any incidences of either of these pests to Izette Greyling (izette.greyling@fabi.up.ac.za).

New Publications

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Liu FF, Barnes I, Roux J, Wingfield MJ, Chen SF. (2017) Molecular phylogenetics and microsatellite analysis reveal a new pathogenic Ceratocystis species in the Asian-Australian Clade. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12820
Wingfield BD, Berger DK, Steenkamp ET, Lim H-J, Duong TA, Bluhm BH, De Beer ZW, De Vos L, Fourie G, Naidoo K, Olivier NA, Lin Y, Van der Peer Y, Joubert F, Crampton BG, Swart V, Soal N, Tatham C, Van der Nest MA, Van der Merwe NA, Van Wyk S, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ. (2017) IMA Genome-F 8 Draft genome of Cercospora zeina, Fusarium pininemorale, Hawksworthiomyces lignivorus, Huntiella decipiens and Ophiostoma ips. IMA Fungus 8 (2):385‑396. 10.5598/imafungus.2017.08.02.10
Meyer J, Berger DK, Christensen SA, Murray SL. (2017) RNA-Seq analysis of resistant and susceptible sub-tropical maize lines reveals a role for kauralexins in resistance to grey leaf spot disease, caused by Cercospora zeina. BMC Plant Biology 17:197. 10.1186/s12870-017-1137-9
Nel WJ, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW. (2017) A new genus and species for the globally important, multi-host root pathogen Thielaviopsis basicola. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12803
Aylward J, Wingfield BD, Dreyer LL, Roets F, Wingfield MJ, Steenkamp ET. (2017) Contrasting carbon metabolism in saprotrophic and pathogenic Microascalean fungi from Protea trees. Fungal Ecology 30:88-100. 10.1016/j.funeco.2017.09.002