The DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Plant Health Biotechnology (CPHB, previously the CTHB) promotes the health of plants and trees. Research conducted under the umbrella of this Centre address some of the burning national challenges (particularly in terms of food security, sustainable use of natural resources, and economic growth), while at the same time building human capacity in these important arenas. The vision of the Centre is to utilize world-class scientific research and biotechnology for (i) promoting the long-term health and sustainable use of socioeconomically important plants, including trees and (ii) facilitating inclusive postgraduate education. In doing so, the CPHB would contribute to the protection of food and plant resources in South Africa (and to some extent Africa), as well as develop human capacity in this important field.

The CPHB is hosted by the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria. Within FABI it is intimately linked to the Tree Protection Cooperative Programme (TPCP), a research programme that has a track record of more than two decades in dealing with the pests and diseases of commercially important forestry species.

The CPHB is structured as a virtual Centre of Excellence that conducts scientific research via a collaborative network, with the node of the network represented by researchers at UP. In addition to the UP group, this network involves researchers and their postgraduate students from other Higher Education Institutions in South Africa.

New Publications

Burgess TI, Dang QN, Le BV, Pham NQ, White D, Pham TQ. (2020) Phytophthora acaciivora sp. nov. associated with dying Acacia mangium in Vietnam. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 6:243-252. 10.3114/fuse.2020.06.11 PDF
Kanzi AM, Trollip C, Wingfield MJ, Barnes I, van der Nest MA, Wingfield BD. (2020) Phylogenomic incongruence in Ceratocystis: a clue to speciation?. BMC Genomics 21:362. 10.1186/s12864-020-6772-0
Crous PW, Wingfield MJ, Schumacher RK, Akulov A, Bulgakov TS, Carnegie AJ, Jurjević Z, Decock C, Denman S, Lombard L, Lawrence DP, Stack AJ, Gordon TR, Bostock RM, Burgess T, Summerell BA, Taylor PWJ, Edwards J, Hou LW, Cai L, Rossman AY, Wöhner T, Allen WC, Castlebury LA, Visagie CM, Groenewald JZ. (2020) New and Interesting Fungi. 3. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 6:157–231. 10.3114/fuse.2020.06.09
Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Crous CJ. (2020) Tree diseases can change entire landscapes and must be taken seriously . The Conversation https://bit.ly/3b5ptAP
Lee DH, Wingfield BD, Roux J, Wingfield MJ. (2020) Quantification of outcrossing events in haploid fungi using microsatellite markers. Journal of Fungi 6 10.3390/jof6020048
Mutitu E, TB Hoareau, Hurley BP, Garnas JR, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2020) Reconstructing early routes of invasion of the bronze bug Thaumastocoris peregrinus (Hemiptera: Thaumastocoridae): cities as bridgeheads for global pest invasions. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-020-02258-w
Fell S, De Beer ZW. (2020) Understanding the threat of the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer to the pecan industry. SA Pekan 85:34-36. http://bit.ly/2V8tcYa PDF
Wondafrash M, Slippers B, Nambazimana A, Kayumba I, Nibouche S, van der Lingen S, Asfaw BA, Jenya H, Mutitu EK, Makowe IA, Chungu D, Kiwuso P, Kulimush E, Razafindrakotomamonjy A, Bosu PP, Sookar P, Hurley BP. (2020) Distribution and genetic diversity of five invasive pests of Eucalyptus in sub-Saharan Africa. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-020-02250-4
Li JQ, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Barnes I, Fourie A, Crous PW, Chen SF. (2020) Mating genes in Calonectria and evidence for a heterothallic ancestral state . Persoonia 45:163-176. 10.3767/persoonia.2020.45.06 PDF
Vivas M, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2020) Maternal effects should be considered in the establishment of forestry plantations. Forest Ecology and Management 460:117909. 10.1016/j.foreco.2020.117909