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FABI was honoured to receive a visit by the renowned forest pathologist and invasion biologist Prof. Alberto Santini from the Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, in the National Research Council of Italy located in the city of Florence. He is also the former PhD advisor of FABI Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Duccio Migliorini.

Dr Santini was on a visit to the country to attend an International Plant Sentinel Workshop and establish a reciprocal programme between South Africa and Italy. This international initiative uses sentinel plants or plantations to detect, in advance, new pests and pathogens entering countries. 

He also presented a special seminar at FABI entitled “Dutch elm disease in Italy, studies on its possible management”. This devastating disease of elm trees is caused by four Ophiostoma species. Dr Santini’s work has focused on ways of saving these iconic trees through breeding for resistance and biological control of the pathogen.

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