Dr Gerda Fourie, leader of the Macadamia Protection Programme at FABI along with postdoctoral Fellow Dr Arista Fourie, PhD candidate Angel Maduke and MSc students Ashleigh Smith, Dee Twiddy and Byron Sonnekus, recently visited various Macadamia growers in the Mpumalanga Province to conduct disease consultations, sample diseased material for new and on-going research projects and plan future field experiments.

During the trip the group collected nuts that displayed typical Husk rot symptoms and collected branches for a Botryosphaeriaceae pathogenicity assay. This was done in order to identify species that is causing Husk rot as well as twig and branch die-back linked to the research projects of Dee Twiddy and Angel Maduke. The group also collected Thaumatotibia batrachopa larvae and stink bugs for the research projects of Ashleigh Smith and Byron Sonnekus. Professor Noëlani van den Berg and MSc student Jesse Hartley from the Avocado Research Programme in FABI also met up with the team to assist in collecting roots and soil for a new survey to determine the presence and potential impact of Rosellinia necatrix in Macadamia.