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This past November, Dr Chris Malumphy, senior entomologist with Fera Science in the United Kingdom and Dr Trudy Paap, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) at FABI, conducted International Plant Sentinel Network (IPSN) workshops at SANBI National Botanical Gardens in Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and Pretoria. The IPSN was launched in 2013 as a platform to coordinate information exchange and provide support for sentinel plant research within botanical gardens. The project uses sentinel trees (species planted outside their natural range) in botanical gardens to gain valuable information on potential new host-pest interactions, and can function as an early warning system for the arrival of new and emerging pests and diseases.

Covering a range of topics including background to the IPSN, pests presenting potential future plant health threats to South Africa, the importance of biosecurity and hygiene, and management options for existing tree health issues within the gardens, the workshops were a great opportunity to engage with botanical garden staff, nurserymen, and managers of public parks and nature estates.

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