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 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.

 

Contact information

Director of the CPHB: Prof Emma Steenkamp

Program manager of the CPHB: Prof Martin Coetzee

CHPB Administrator:  Ms Heidi Fysh

 

New Publications

Lynn KMT, Wingfield MJ, Durán A, Oliveira LSS, de Beer ZW, Barnes I. (2021) Novel Fusarium mutualists of two Euwallacea species infesting Acacia crassicarpa in Indonesia. Mycologia 10.1080/00275514.2021.1875708 PDF
Sinotte VM, Conlon BH, Seibel E, Schwitalla JW, de Beer ZW, Poulsen M, Bos N. (2021) Female-biased sex allocation and lack of inbreeding avoidance in Cubitermes termites. Ecology and Evolution 10.1002/ece3.7462
Jamison-Daniels SL, Kissling WD, Botha M, Harris MA, Gordon CE, Greve M. (2021) The role of deterministic succession during forest development within a southern African savanna. bioTropica 53(2):466-476. 10.1111/btp.12890
Nel WJ, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW, Duong TA. (2021) Ophiostomatalean fungi associated with wood boring beetles in South Africa including two new species. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 10.1007/s10482-021-01548-0
van der Nest MA, Chávez R, De Vos L, Duong TA, Gil-Durán C, Ferreira MA, Lane FA, Levicán G, Santana QC, Steenkamp ET, Suzuki H, Tello M, Rakoma JR, Vaca I, Valdés N, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2021) Draft genome sequences of Penicillium roqueforti, Fusarium sororula, Chrysoporthe puriensis, and Chalaropsis populi. IMA Fungus 12:5. 10.1186/s43008-021-00055-1 PDF
Phasha MM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Coetzee MPA, Hallen-Adams H, Fru F, Swalarsk-Parry BS, Yilmaz N, Duong TA, Steenkamp ET. (2021) Ras2 is important for growth and pathogenicity in Fusarium circinatum. 150:103541. 10.1016/j.fgb.2021.103541
De Wit MP, Crookes DJ, Blignaut JN, de Beer ZW, Paap T, Roets F, Van der Merwe C, Richardson DM. (2021) Invasion of the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer Beetle in South Africa: A preliminary assessment of the economic impacts. Biological Invasions PREPRINT 10.21203/rs.3.rs-220132/v1
Migliorini D, Messal M, Santini A, Ramos AP, Talhinhas P, Wingfield MJ, Burgess T. (2021) Metabarcoding reveals southern hemisphere fungal endophytes within wood of cultivated Proteaceae in Portugal. European Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s10658-021-02233-8
Balocchi F, Wingfield MJ, Ahumada R, Barnes I. (2021) Pewenomyces kutranfy gen nov. et sp. nov. causal agent of an important canker disease on Araucaria araucana in Chile. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13353
Mullett MS, Drenkhan R, Adamson K, Boroń P, Lenart-Boroń A, Barnes I, Tomšovský M, Jánošíková Z, Adamčíková K, Ondrušková E, Queloz V, Piškur B, Musolin DL, Davydenko K, Georgieva M, Schmitz S, Kačergius A, Ghelardini L, Kranjec Orlović J, Müller M, Oskay F, Hauptman T, Halász Á, Markovskaja S, Solheim H, Vuorinen M, Heinzelmann R, Hamelin RC, Konečný A. (2021) Worldwide genetic structure elucidates the Eurasian origin and invasion pathways of Dothistroma septosporum, causal agent of Dothistroma Needle Blight. Journal of Fungi 7:111. 10.3390/jof7020111
van Wyk S, Wingfield B, De Vos L, van der Merwe A, Steenkamp E. (2021) Genome-Wide Analyses of Repeat-Induced Point Mutations in the Ascomycota. Frontiers in Microbiology 11(Article 622368):1-17. 10.3389/fmicb.2020.622368 PDF
Nsibo DL, Barnes I, Omondi DO, Dida MM, Berger DK. (2021) Population genetic structure and migration patterns of the maize pathogenic fungus, Cercospora zeina in East and Southern Africa. Fungal Genetics and Biology (103527) 10.1016/j.fgb.2021.103527
Van der Nest M, Hlongwane N, Hadebe K, Chan W, Van der Merwe N, De Vos L, Greyling B, Kooverjee B, Soma P, Dzomba E, Bradfield M, Muchadeyi F. (2021) Breed ancestry, divergence, admixture, and selection patterns of the Simbra crossbreed. Frontiers in Genetics 11:1796. 10.3389/fgene.2020.608650 PDF
Pham NQ, Marincowitz S, Solís M, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Barnes I, Slippers B, Muro Abad JI, Durán A, Wingfield MJ. (2021) Eucalyptus scab and shoot malformation: A new and serious foliar disease of Eucalyptus caused by Elsinoe necatrix sp. nov.. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13348 PDF
Fraser S, McTaggart AR, Roux J, Nel J, Potgieter J, Shuey L, Somchat C, Wingfield MJ. (2021) The life cycle and field epidemiology of Uromycladium acaciae (Pucciniales) on Acacia mearnsii in South Africa. Annals of Applied Biology 10.1111/aab.12677
Wu WX, Chen SF. (2021) Species diversity, mating strategy, and pathogenicity of Calonectria species from diseased leaves and soils in the Eucalyptus plantation in southern China. Journal of Fungi 7 10.3390/jof7020073 PDF
Hurley BP. (2021) The enemy of my enemy is my friend. TIP-MAG (2):4-6. PDF
Murphy R, Benndorf R, de Beer ZW, Vollmers J, Kaster AK, Beemelmanns C, Poulsen M. (2021) Comparative Genomics Reveals Prophylactic and Catabolic Capabilities of Actinobacteria within the Fungus-Farming Termite Symbiosis. bioRxiv 10.1101/2021.01.13.426627
Schalk F, Gostinčar C, Kreuzenbeck NB, Conlon BH, Sommerwerk E, Rabe P, Burkhardt I, Krüger T, Kniemeyer O, Brakhage AA, Gunde-Cimerman N, de Beer ZW, Dickschat JS, Poulsen M, Beemelmanns C. (2021) The termite fungal cultivar Termitomyces combines diverse enzymes and oxidative reactions for plant biomass conversion. mBio :2021.01.13.4266. 10.1101/2021.01.13.426627
Wilson AM, Gabriel R, Singer SW, Schuerg T, Wilken PM, van der Nest MA, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2021) Doing it alone: Unisexual reproduction in filamentous ascomycete fungi. Fungal Biology Reviews 35:1-13. 10.1016/j.fbr.2020.12.003