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

Robert Mangani, Kpoti M. Gunn, Nicky Creux. (2023) Projecting the effect of climate change on planting date and cultivar choice for South African dryland maize production. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 341(15):109695. 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109695
Tarigan M, Wingfield MJ, Marpaung YMAN, Duran A, Pham NQ. (2023) Quambalaria eucalypti found on Eucalyptus in Indonesia. Forest Pathology :e12829. 10.1111/efp.12829 PDF
Narh Mensah DL , Wingfield BD, Coetzee MPA. (2023) A practical approach to genome assembly and annotation of Basidiomycota using the example of Armillaria. BioTechniques 10.2144/btn-2023-0023
Avontuur JR, Wilken PM, Palmer M, Coetzee MPA, Stępkowski T, Venter SN, Steenkamp ET. (2023) Complex evolutionary history of photosynthesis in Bradyrhizobium. Microbial Genomics 9(9) 10.1099/mgen.0.001105
Balocchi F, Barnes I, Wingfield MJ, Ahumada R, Visagie CM. (2023) New Resinogalea species from Araucaria araucana resin in Chile and reclassification of the genus in the Cryptocaliciomycetidae. IMA Fungus 14 10.1186/s43008-023-00122-9 PDF
Claassens R, Venter SN, Beukes CW, Stępkowski T, Chan WY, Steenkamp ET. (2023) Bradyrhizobium xenonodulans sp. nov. isolated from nodules of Australian Acacia species invasive to South Africa. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 10.1016/j.syapm.2023.126452
Johannes Joubert, Benice Sivparsad, Michelle Schroder, Ilaria Germishuizen, Jingyuan Chen, Brett Hurley, Jeremy Allison, Almuth Hammerbacher. (2023) Susceptibility of Eucalyptus trees to defoliation by the Eucalyptus snout beetle, Gonipterus sp. n. 2, is enhanced by high foliar contents of 1,8-cineole, oxalic acid and sucrose and low contents of palmitic and shikimic acid. Plant, Cell & Environment 10.1111/pce.14696 PDF
Pham NQ, Wingfield MJ, Marincowitz S, Tanga AA, Tiki KR, Kassie WB, Hurley BP, Germishuizen I, Lawson SA, Healey MA, Wondafrash M. (2023) First report of the wattle rust pathogen, Uromycladium acaciae (Raveneliaceae, Pucciniales) in Ethiopia. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research :1–8. 10.1093/forestry/cpad040
Swanepoel S, Visser EA, Shuey SS, Naidoo S. (2023) The In Planta Gene Expression of Austropuccinia psidii in Resistant and Susceptible Eucalyptus grandis. Phytopathology 113(6):1066-1076. 10.1094/PHYTO-07-22-0257-R PDF
Paap T, Marincowitz S, Pham NQ, Roets F, Basson RJ, Wingfield BD, Oberlander K, Wingfield MJ. (2023) A novel species of Microsphaeropsis causing cankers on Rafnia amplexicaulis in South Africa . Fungal Systematics and Evolution 12:73-80. 10.3114/fuse.2023.12.05 PDF
Marincowitz S, Pham NQ, Wingfield BD, Roets F, Wingfield MJ. (2023) Microfungi associated with dying Euphorbia mauritanica in South Africa and their relative pathogenicity. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 12:59-71. 10.3114/fuse.2023.12.04 PDF
Kooverjee BB, Soma P, van der Nest MA, Scholtz MM, Neser FWC. (2023) Copy Number Variation Discovery in South African Nguni-Sired and Bonsmara-Sired Crossbred Cattle. Animals 13(15):2513. 10.3390/ani13152513
Makunde PT, Joubert JC, Slippers B, Hurley BP, Hammerbacher A. (2023) Leaf surface traits may influence host specificity in psyllids of Eucalyptus, Spondyliaspis cf. plicatuloides (Froggatt) and Glycaspis brimblecombei Moore (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae). Chemoecology 33:83-98. 10.1007/s00049-023-00387-x
Harris MA, Slippers B, Kemler M, Greve M. (2023) Opportunities for diversified usage of metabarcoding data for fungal biogeography through increased metadata quality. Fungal Biology Reviews 46:100329. 10.1016/j.fbr.2023.100329
Franić I, Allan E, Prospero S, ..., Paap T, et al.. (2023) Climate, host and geography shape insect and fungal communities of trees. Scientific Reports 13:1-13. 10.1038/s41598-023-36795-w
Katumanyane A, Slippers B, Wondafrash M, Malan AP, Hurley BP. (2023) Natural infection of white grubs (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) with entomopathogenic nematodes in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. Journal of Helminthology 97 10.1017/S0022149X23000378
Crous P, Pancorbo F, Luangsa-ard J, Larsson E, Esteve-Raventós F, Bishop-Hurley S, Tan Y, Shivas R, Osieck E, Balashov S. (2023) Fungal Planet description sheets: 1478–1549. Persoonia 50:158-310. 10.3767/persoonia.2023.50.05
Crous P, Cowan D, Cruz R, Czachura P, De la Peña-Lastra S, Dovana F, Drury B, Fell J, Flakus A, Fotedar R, Jurjević , Chandranayaka S, Boekhout T, Osieck E, Shivas R, Tan Y, Bishop-Hurley S, Esteve-Raventós F, Larsson E, Luangsa-ard J, Pancorbo F, Balashov S, Baseia I, Kolecka A. (2023) Fungal Planet description sheets: 1478–1549 . Persoonia 50:58 – 310. 10.3767/persoonia.2023.50.05
Nkomo T, Hammerbacher A, Wingfield BD, Bose T. (2023) Fungal Planet description sheets: 1478–1549 (Description of Tulasnella epidendrea). Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi 50:290-291. 10.3767/persoonia.2023.50.05
Read DA, Thompson GD, Swanevelder DZH, Pietersen G. (2023) Metaviromic Characterization of Betaflexivirus Populations Associated with a Vitis cultivar Collection in South Africa. Viruses 15(7):1474. 10.3390/v15071474
Li WW, Chen SF, Wingfield MJ, Duong TA. (2023) Calonectria species associated with diseased leaves and soils in southern China Eucalyptus plantations. Phytopathology Research 5(29) 10.1186/s42483-023-00183-z
Roux J, Wingfield MJ, Marincowitz S, Solís M, Phungula S, Pham NQ. (2023) Eucalyptus scab and shoot malformation: a new disease in South Africa caused by a novel species, Elsinoe masingae. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research 10.1093/forestry/cpad031
van der Walt D, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield BD, Wilken PM. (2023) Evidence of Biparental Mitochondrial Inheritance from Self-Fertile Crosses between Closely Related Species of Ceratocystis. Journal of Fungi 9(6):686. 10.3390/jof9060686 PDF
Barnes I, Abdul Rauf MR, Fourie A, Japarudin Y, Wingfield MJ. (2023) Ceratocystis manginecans and not C. fimbriata a threat to propagated Acacia spp. in Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Forest Science 35:16-26. 10.26525/jtfs2023.35S.SI.16
Lapammu M, Warburton PM, Japarudin Y, Boden D, Wingfield MJ, Brawner JT. (2023) Verification of tolerance to infection by Ceratocystis manginecans in clones of Acacia mangium. Journal of Tropical Forest Science 35:42-50. 10.26525/jtfs2023.35S.SI.42
Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Warburton P, Japarudin Y, Lapammu M, Abdul Rauf MR, Boden D, Barnes I. (2023) Ceratocystis wilt of Acacia mangium in Sabah: Understanding the disease and reducing its impact. Journal of Tropical Forest Science 35:51-66. 10.26525/jtfs2023.35S.SI.51
Chang RL, Wang Y, Liu Y, Wang Y, Li S, Zhao G, Zhang S, Dai M, Zheng X, Bose T, Si H. (2023) Nine new species of black lichenicolous fungi from the genus Cladophialophora (Chaetothyriales) from two different climatic zones of China. Frontiers in Microbiology 14:1191818. 10.3389/fmicb.2023.1191818 PDF
Mesanza N, Barnes I, van der Nest A, Raposo R, Berbegal M, Iturritxa E. (2023) Genetic diversity of Lecanosticta acicola in Pinus ecosystems in Northern Spain. Journal of Fungi 9(651) 10.3390/jof9060651
Francinah M Ratsoma, Nthabiseng Z Mokoena, Brenda D Wingfield, Emma T Steenkamp, Thabiso E Motaung. (2023) Characterization of Fusarium circinatum biofilm and its matrix’s environmental response role. ResearchSquare 00(00):00-00. 10.21203/rs.3.rs-3040583/v1
Bose T, Hammerbacher A, Slippers B, Roux J, Wingfield MJ. (2023) Continuous replanting could degrade soil health in short-rotation plantation forestry. Current Forestry Reports 10.1007/s40725-023-00188-z PDF