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

Ramaswe JB, Steenkamp ET, De Vos L, Fru FF, Adegeye OO, Wingfield BD. (2024) Sex pheromone receptor Ste2 orchestrates chemotropic growth towards pine root extracts in the pitch canker pathogen Fusarium circinatum. Pathogens 13:425. 10.3390/pathogens13050425
Marais I, Buitendag C, Duong TA, Crampton BG, Theron J, Kidanemarium D, Berger DK. (2024) Double-stranded RNA uptake for the control of the maize pathogen Cercospora zeina. Plant Pathology Online first:1-11. 10.1111/ppa.13909
van Heerden A, Pham NQ, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Muro Abad JI, Durán A, Wilken PM. (2024) LAMP assay to detect Elsinoë necatrix; an important Eucalyptus shoot and leaf pathogen. Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-01-24-0086-RE
Silva GA, Oliveira MES, Rêgo GMS, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Ferreira MA. (2024) Chrysoporthe brasiliensis sp. nov. pathogenic to Melastomataceae in southeast Brazil. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2024.04.001
Fick A, Swart V, Bombarely A, van den Berg N. (2024) Comparative transcriptional analysis of Persea americana MYB, WRKY and AP2/ERF transcription factors following Phytophthora cinnamomi infection. Molecular Plant Pathology 25(4):e13453. 10.1111/mpp.13453 PDF
Van Lill M, Venter SN, Muema EK, Palmer M., Beukes CW, Chan WY, Steenkamp ET. (2024) SeqCode facilitates naming of South African rhizobia left in limbo. Systematics and Applied Microbiology 47(2-3):126504. 10.1016/j.syapm.2024.126504 PDF
Visagie CM, Meyer H, Yilmaz N. (2024) Maize–Fusarium associations and their mycotoxins: Insights from South Africa. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2024.03.009
Pietersen G, Morgan S, Read DA. (2024) First report of Citrus concave gum-associated virus (CCGaV) on apple (Malus spp.) in South Africa. Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s42161-024-01629-9
Dankie VN, Steenkamp ET, De Vos L, Swalarsk-Parry BS, Dewing C, Fru F, Wilken PM, Mchunu NP, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, van der Nest MA. (2024) Growth, pathogenicity and sexual fertility of the African tree pathogen Ceratocystis albifundus. Journal of Plant Pathology :1-11. 10.1007/s42161-024-01634-y
Bornman S, Thomas C, Ntladi S, Wilken PM. (2024) Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is the causal agent of Sclerotinia stem rot on peanut (groundnut) in South Africa. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 19 10.1007/s13314-024-00537-2
Robert R, Robberste N, Thompson GD, Read DA. (2024) Characterization of macadamia ringspot‑associated virus, a novel Orthotospovirus associated with Macadamia integrifolia in South Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s10658-024-02832-1 PDF
Hiroyuki S, Marincowitz S, Roux J, Paap T, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ. (2024) A new genus and species of Cryphonectriaceae causing stem cankers on plantation eucalypts in South Africa. Plant Pathology :1-14. 10.1111/ppa.13883 PDF
Mapfumo P, Buthelezi S, Archer E, Swanevelder DZH, Wilken PM, Creux N. (2024) In-field climatic factors driving Sclerotinia head rot progression across different sunflower planting dates. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13873
Price J-L, Visagie CM, Meyer H, Yilmaz N. (2024) Fungal species and mycotoxins Associated with Maize ear rots collected from the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Toxins 16:95. 10.3390/toxins16020095
Tarigan M, Wingfield MJ, Jami F, Marpaung YMAN, Duran A, Pham NQ. (2024) Pathogenicity of Chrysoporthe deuterocubensis on eucalypts in Indonesia. Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science 10.2989/20702620.2023.2279054
Caballol M, Serradó F, Barnes I, Camarero JJ, Valeriano C, Colangelo M, Oliva J. (2024) Climate, host ontogeny and pathogen structural specificity determine forest disease distribution at a regional scale. Ecography :e06974. 10.1111/ecog.06974 PDF
MISEV Consortium, Motaung T. (2024) Minimal information for studies of extracellular vesicles (MISEV2023): From basic to advanced approaches. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles 13(2):e12404. 10.1002/jev2.12404
Pham NQ, Suzuki H, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Barnes I, Duran A, Wingfield MJ. (2024) Cryptic sexual reproduction in an emerging Eucalyptus shoot and foliar pathogen. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13876
Francinah M. Ratsoma, Nthabiseng Z. Mokoena, Quentin C. Santana, Brenda D. Wingfield, Emma T. Steenkamp, Thabiso E. Motaung. (2024) Characterization of the Fusarium circinatum biofilm environmental response role. Journal of Basic Microbiology 00(00):1-16. 10.1002/jobm.202300536
Morrison EW, Duong TA, Garnas JR. (2024) A high-quality draft genome sequence of Neonectria faginata, causative agent of beech bark disease of Fagus grandifolia. Microbiology Resource Announcements 10.1128/mra.01048-23
Roberts E, Paap T, Roets F. (2024) Chemical control of the Polyphagous Shothole Borer beetle (PSHB, Euwallacea fornicatus) and Fusarium euwallaceae in American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s42161-023-01583-y
Fitza KNE, Allison J, Slippers B, Chingandu N, Reed SE. (2024) Diversity and potential sources of introduction of the Beech leaf nematode (Litylenchus crenatae< mccannii) to Ontario, Canada. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology
Engelbrecht K, Raubenheimer I, Paap T, Neethling E, Roets F. (2024) Detection of Fusarium euwallaceae and its vector Euwallacea fornicatus on Pear (Pyrus communis) and in deciduous fruit orchards in South Africa. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 19(1) 10.1007/s13314-023-00524-z PDF
Visagie CM, Meijer M, Kraak B, Groenewald M, Houbraken J, Theelen B, Vorst Y, Boekhout T. (2024) Blastobotrys nigripullensis, a new yeast species isolated from a fungal outbreak on an ancient Roman shipwreck in the Netherlands. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 117:22. 10.1007/s10482-023-01898-x
De Vos L, van der Nest MA, Santana QC, van Wyk S, Leeuwendaal KS, Wingfield BD, Steenkamp ET. (2024) Chromosome-level assemblies for the pine pitch canker pathogen Fusarium circinatum. Pathogens 13(1):70. 10.3390/pathogens13010070
Chen BY, Wu WX, Chen SF. (2024) Wide distribution of Teratosphaeria epicoccoides and T. destructans associated with diseased Eucalyptus leaves in plantations in Southern China. Microorganisms 12:129. 10.3390/microorganisms12010129
Visagie CM, Yilmaz N, Kocsubé S, Frisvad JC, Hubka V, Samson RA, Houbraken J. (2024) A review of recently introduced Aspergillus, Penicillium, Talaromyces and other Eurotiales species. Studies in Mycology 107:1–66. 10.3114/sim.2024.107.01
Joubert M, van den Berg N, Theron J, Swart V. (2024) Global transcriptomic analysis in avocado nursery trees reveals differential gene expression during asymptomatic infection by avocado sunblotch viroid (ASBVd). Virus Research 339:199263. 10.1016/j.virusres.2023.199263. PDF
Crous PW, Costa MM, Kandemir H, Vermaas M, Vu D, Zhao L, Arumugam E, Flakus A, Jurjević Ž, Kaliyaperumal M, Mahadevakumar S, Murugadoss R, Shivas RG, Tan YP, Wingfield MJ, Abell SE, Marney TS, Danteswari C, Darmostuk V, Denchev CM, Denchev TT, Gené J, Etayo J, Gunaseelan S, Hubka V, Illescas T, Jansen GM, Kezo K, Kumar S, Larsson E, Mufeeda KT, Piatek M, Rodriguez-Flakus P, Sarma PVSRN, Stryjak-Bokacka M, Torres-Garcia D, Vauras J, Acal DA, Akulov A, Alhudaib K, Asif M, Balashov S, Baral H-O, Baturo-Cieśniewska A, Begerow D, Beja-Perreira A, Bianchinotti MV, Bilański P, Chandranayaka S, Chellappan N, Cowan DA, Custódio FA, Czachura P, Delgado G, De Silva NI, Dijksterhuis J, Dueñas M, Eisvand P, Fachada V, Fournier J, Fritsche Y, Fuljer F, Ganga KGG, Guerra MP, Hansen K, Hywel-Jones N, Ismail AM, Jacobs CR, Jankowiak R, Karich A, Kemler M, Kisło K, Klofac W, Krisai-Greilhuber I, Latha KPD, Lebeuf R, Lopes ME, Lumyong S, Maciá-Vicente JG, Maggs-Kölling G, Magistà D, Manimohan P, Martín MP, Mazur E, Mehrabi-Koushki M, Miller AN, Mombert A, Ossowska EA, Patejuk K, Pereira OL, Piskorski S, Plaza M, Podile AR, Polhorsky A, Pusz W, Raza W, Ruszkiewicz-Michalska M, Saba M, Sánchez RM, Singh R, Śliwa L, Smith ME, Stefenon VM, Strašiftáková D, Suwannarach N, Szczepańska K, Telleria MT, Tennakoon DS, Thines M, Thorn RG, Urbaniak J, van der Vegte M, Vasan V, Vila-Vićosa C, Voglmayr H, Wrzosek M, Zappelini J, Groenewald JZ. (2023) Fungal Planet description sheets: 1550-1613. Persoonia 51:280-417. 10.3767/persoonia.2023.51.08
Wilken PM, Lane FA, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2023) Unidirectional mating-type switching is underpinned by a conserved MAT1 locus architecture. Fungal genetics and Biology (103859) 10.1016/j.fgb.2023.103859