CERC-FABI Tree Protection Team plant trees for research 2020-05-13
FABI and the China Eucalypt Research Centre (CERC) have a long-standing and active research programme focused on the health of forest trees. This programme, using the acronym CFTPP, is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Pretoria and the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF), the umbrella organisation under which CERC resides. The CFTPP has had many substantial accomplishments and has collectively leveraged funding to promote fundamental research on tree pathogens and the joint education of numerous post graduate students. Due to the constraints arising from CoVD-19, it has been necessary for both the CERC and FABI teams to adjust their research plans this year. Yet a huge effort has been made to ensure research continuity. For the present, CoViD-19 is well controlled in China and this has made it possible for the CFTPP team to visit field sites for sample collection and to plant trees needed for collaborative experimental work. For example, on 8 May, the CFTPP Team at CERC planted Eucalyptus urophylla genotypes in experimental plot that will be used for experiments on the biology of Calonectria species that cause a serious leaf blight disease. The enthusiasm of the team, which is well illustrated in the photographs, was such that even at an outside temperature of 36 degrees centigrade, the work remained fun.