15 Mar 2021

Online launch of forestry pests and diseases book

The official launch of the recently-published book “Important insect pests and diseases of Pinus and Eucalyptus in Colombia” by Dr Carlos Rodas and Prof. A PDF of the book is freely available for download by clicking here.

12 Mar 2021

Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer online resource

The PSHB Research Network in FABI has been at the forefront of research and field extension work, and to this end has created an online resource for use by both the public and academia.

10 Mar 2021

Many hands make light work at the TPCP tree planting

Some 50 students linked to the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) in FABI replanted more than 1700 Eucalyptus and 200 pine seedlings on the morning of 5 March.

8 Mar 2021

GRP team visits farms in the Eastern Cape and KZN

The Grain Research Program (GRP) team in collaboration with the University of the Free State’s Department of Plant Sciences team embarked on a field trip to the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

3 Mar 2021

FABI researchers work with Sappi in KwaZulu-Natal

FABI team members visited various Sappi holdings in KwaZulu-Natal during the week of 22 February.

26 Feb 2021

Drivers and brakes of pathogen emergence

Professor Daniel Croll of the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland was the guest presenter of this month’s FABI International Seminar Series on 25 February.

19 Feb 2021

In memoriam: Professor Stefan Neser

Stefan passed away on Wednesday, 17 February 2021. Our deepest condolences to his wife Ottilie, his children, other members of his family, and the many special friends that he had in South Africa and abroad.

19 Feb 2021

Macadamia research program’s field visit to Mpumalanga

The Macadamia Protection Program (MPP) is back in the field! MPP research group leader Dr Gerda Fourie, joined by MSc candidate Dee Twiddy and PhD candidate Elisa Pal travelled to the Mpumalanga area during the week of 9 February.

18 Feb 2021

FABI biocontrol centre imports Anaphes nitens from Australia

Despite travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a shipment of Anaphes nitens collected in Queensland, Australia was received by the FABI biocontrol facility at the University of Pretoria’s experimental farm last week.

17 Feb 2021

Two FABIans attend the Leadership Academy for Agriculture

During the first week of February, two FABIans, Drs Mahlane Godfrey Kgatle and Miekie Human attended the first of three sessions of the “Leadership in the Connection Economy Programme”.

15 Feb 2021

New internship programme begins at FABI

n 1 February, a new internship programme was launched at FABI under the auspices of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Plant Health Biotechnology (CPHB).

12 Feb 2021

Professor Ströh addresses FABI MMM

Professor Anton Ströh, Vice-Principal: Institutional Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, and acting Vice-Principle for Research and Post-graduate Educationat the University of Pretoria was the guest speaker at the FABI Monday Morning Meeting (MMM) of 8 February. Innovation Africa @UP is an important part of this plan to drive transdisciplinary research and FABI is a core part of this flagship project. FABI Director Prof.

12 Feb 2021

US collaborators visit FABI to plan a joint research project

Long-time FABI research collaborator and extraordinary staff member of the Institute, Prof. Francois Roets from Stellenbosch University visited FABI on 11 February to meet various colleagues and to discuss numerous collaborative projects.

11 Feb 2021

Disease screening of maize genotypes in the Eastern Cape

Drs David Nsibo and Mahlane Godfrey Kgatle of the Grain Research Program (GRP) travelled to the Rocky Park Farm in Ugie, Eastern Cape, from 25-27 January 2021. The team would like to thank Sinelizwi Fakade and Lesego Selokela for assisting the team with the planting and maintenance of the MCT at Rocky Park Farm and the University of Pretoria, respectively.

8 Feb 2021

The FABI diagnostics team is growing

Thirty-two years ago the first diagnostic clinic to service the South African forestry industry was established as part of the birth of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP). The FABI Diagnostic Clinic continues to grow to serve the increasing needs of its industry partners. Gabrielle has been a part of the FABI family since 2009, where her research focused on phytobacteria, and for her PhD and postdoc she studied bacterial wilt on Eucalyptus. Shawn Fell is nearing completion of his MSc degree which focused on the PSHB and its associated fungi on pecan trees. The FABI Diagnostic Clinic also welcomes six students and two interns to the team.

4 Feb 2021

Congratulations to Ntombikayise Nkomo on completing her PhD

FABI celebrated the completion of the second PhD in 2021 with Ntombi Nkomo producing what FABI Director Prof. Ntombi’s primary supervisor was Prof. Several members of the soft rot Pectobacteriaceae family such as Pectobacterium brasiliense1692 (Pb1692) attack a wide range of crops worldwide with P. The objective of Ntombi’s PhD study was to determine the role of two transcriptional regulators SlyA and PhoP in the biology of Pb1692.

1 Feb 2021

Industry partners seconded to the University of Pretoria

Dr Miekie Human and Stefan Links are employed by Grain SA, but have been seconded to the University of Pretoria with effect from 1 February for part of their time.

29 Jan 2021

FABI’s International Seminar Series resumes focussing on the impact mycotoxins on human health

ABI’s very successful and popular International Seminar Series that was established early in 2020 hosted its first seminar for 2021 on 28 January.

28 Jan 2021

Khumbhuzile Bophela presents the first FABI Prestige Seminar in 2021

FABI congratulates Khumbuzile Bophela on being the first FABIan to successfully complete all degree requirements to pass her PhD in 2021.

28 Jan 2021

FABI researchers feature prominently in FSA magazine

The research programmes and activities of several FABIans are profiled in the second issue of the Timber Industry Present magazine (TIP-MAG), an online publication of the Timber Industry Pesticides Working Group (TIPWG) of Forestry South Africa (FSA).

25 Jan 2021

FABI hosts a virtual SASPP Symposium

On 20 January, FABI had the pleasure of hosting a virtual congress of the South African Society of Plant Pathologists’ (SASPP).

22 Jan 2021

New book on pests and diseases of Pine and Eucalyptus in Colombia published

Professor Mike Wingfield and FABI alumnus Dr Carlos Rodas have co-authored a new book entitled “Important insect pests and diseases of Pinus and Eucalyptus in Colombia”.

22 Jan 2021

ARP team members visit Tzaneen

During the week of 18 January, members of the Avocado Research Programme (ARP), Dr Velushka Swart, PhD candidate Phinda Magagula and MSc candidate Raven Wienk travelled to Tzaneen. Finally, to ensure that this trip served to accomplish as much as possible, they visited several Macadamia orchards in the area to sample nuts with Husk rot symptoms on behalf of the Macadamia Protection Programme (MPP).

20 Jan 2021

Mike unpacks FABI’s past at MMM

Following the recent clearing-out of 30 years’ paperwork, Prof. Mike Wingfield shared some of the 32-year history of the Institute at the Monday Morning Meeting (MMM) of 18 January.

15 Jan 2021

FABIans get 2021 up and running

ABI officially opened for the new year starting with an online Monday Morning Meeting on 11 January.

11 Jan 2021

RGE-FABI THP symposium links three continents

The RGE-FABI Tree Health Programme (THP) hosted its annual symposium on 3 December.

14 Dec 2020

FABI wishes for the Festive Season and 2021

We wish you a restful holiday period, and all the very best for 2021!

13 Dec 2020

FABIans contribute to special issues in two scientific journals commemorating the International Year of Plant Health

The United Nations has declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH), in recognition of the urgent need for greater global collaboration to protect plant health.

11 Dec 2020

FABI became the first institute of Innovation Africa@UP in 2020

In 2020, the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) became the first institute to join the Innovation Africa@UP unit.

10 Dec 2020

Join us for the Southern African Society for Plant Pathology conference on 20 January!

We are excited to connect with you on 20 January for our Southern African Society for Plant Pathology(SASPP) hybrid meeting at Future Africa at the University of Pretoria.

10 Dec 2020

Prof. Kupe visits FABI to discuss the need to rethink, reimagine and reposition higher education in a post-COVID-19 world

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, Professor Tawana Kupe addressed the FABI Monday Morning Meeting on 30 November on higher education reimagined in the post COVID-19 world. COVID-19 has many negative implications for higher education. Notwithstanding the challenges, the pandemic has highlighted the need for a hybrid or blended education. Universities also have enormous research and development resources to contribute to the transformation of society. This is Professor Kupe’s third visit to FABI since his appointment at UP, and much appreciated by the community.

9 Dec 2020

Recently-appointed Sappi Vice President visits FABI

FABI was honoured to host a visit by the newly-appointed Vice President: Sappi Forests, Duane Roothman on 2 December.

8 Dec 2020

Last tree planting event for 2020

Forty FABIans from the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) and Grain Research programme (GRP) got their hands dirty replanting 200 pine and 1500 Eucalyptus seedlings into potting bags at the last tree planting event for 2020 on 27 November. This year’s tree planting also included students from the GRP who harvested maize leaves.

7 Dec 2020

Treatment trials established to fight Phytophthora die-back in Kirstenbosch gardens

South Africa’s iconic silver trees (Leucadendron argenteum) are listed as Endangered (EN) in the Red List of South African Plants.

2 Dec 2020

Almuth Hammerbacher promoted to Associate Professor

FABI congratulates Dr Almuth Hammerbacher on her well-deserved promotion to Associate Professor, effective January 2021.