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
Ebinghaus M, Wingfield MJ, Begerow D, Maier W. (2020) The genus Ravenelia (Pucciniales) in South Africa. Mycological Progress 19:259-290. 10.1007/s11557-020-01556-w
Abdollahzadeh J, Groenewald JZ, Coetzee MPA, Wingfield MJ, Crous PW. (2020) Evolution of lifestyles in Capnodiales. 10.1016/j.simyco.2020.02.004
Lynn KMT, Wingfield MJ, Durán A, Marincowitz S, Oliveira LSS , De Beer Z, Barnes I. (2020) Euwallacea perbrevis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), a confirmed pest on Acacia crassicarpa in Riau, Indonesia, and a new fungal symbiont; Fusarium rekanum sp. nov.. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 113(6):803-823. 10.1007/s10482-020-01392-8 PDF
Faccoli M, Gallego D, Branco M, Brockerhoff EG, Corley J, Coyle DR, Hurley BP, Jactel H, Lakatos F, Lantschner V, Lawson S, Martínez G, Gómez DF, Avtzis D. (2020) A first worldwide multispecies survey of invasive Mediterranean pine bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae). Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-020-02219-3
Hernandez-Restrepo M, Giraldo A, van Doorn R, Wingfield MJ, Groenewald JZ, Barreto RW, Colman AA, Mansur PSC, Crous PW. (2020) The genera of fungi - G6: Arthrographis, Kramasamuha, Melnikomyces, Thysanorea and Verruconis. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 10.3114/fuse.2020.06.01
Paap T. (2020) Trees in South Africa are under attack. Why it’s proving hard to manage. The Conversation http://bit.ly/2twjJ3e
Havenga M, Chen S, Wilken PM, Duong TA, Tatham CT, Dreyer LL, Roets F, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Aylward J. (2020) Mating strategy and mating type distribution in six global populations of the Eucalyptus foliar pathogen Teratosphaeria destructans. Fungal Genetics and Biology 137:103350. 10.1016/j.fgb.2020.103350
Wang W, Li GQ, Liu QL, Chen SF. (2020) Cryphonectriaceae on Myrtales in China: phylogeny, host range, and pathogenicity. Persoonia 45:101–131. PDF
Wilson AM, Wilken PM, van der Nest MA, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2020) The novel Huntiella omanensis mating gene, MAT1-2-7, is essential for ascomatal maturation. Fungal Genetics & Biology 137:103335. 10.1016/j.fgb.2020.103335
Musvuugwa T, De Beer ZW, Dreyer LL, Duong T, Marincowitz S, Oberlander KC, Roets F. (2020) New ophiostomatoid fungi from wounds on storm-damaged trees in Afromontane forests of the Cape Floristic Region. Mycological Progress 19(1):81-95. 10.1007/s11557-019-01545-8
Nagel J, Cruywagen EM, Machua J, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2020) Highly transferable microsatellite markers for the genera Lasiodiplodia and Neofusicoccum. Fungal Ecology 44:100903. 10.1016/j.funeco.2019.100903
McTaggart AR, du Plessis E, Roux J, Barnes I, Fraser S, Granados GM, Ho WWH, Shuey LS, Drenth A. (2020) Sexual reproduction in populations of Austropuccinia psidii. European Journal of Plant Pathology 156:537-545. 10.1007/s10658-019-01903-y
Rauf MRBA, McTaggart AR, Marincowitz S, Barnes I, Japarundin Y, Wingfield MJ. (2020) Pathogenicity of Chrysoporthe deuterocubensis and Myrtoporthe bodenii gen. et sp. nov. on Eucalyptus in Sabah, Malaysia. Plant Pathology 49(1):53-64. 10.1007/s13313-019-00676-6
Guo Y, Hunziker L, Mesarich CH, Chettri P, Dupont PY, Ganley RJ, McDougal RL, Barnes I, Bradshaw RE. (2020) DsEcp2-1 is a polymorphic effector that restricts growth of Dothistroma septosporum in pine. Fungal Genetics and Biology 135:103300. 10.1016/j.fgb.2019.103300
Haavik LJ, Slippers B, Hurley BP, Dodds KJ, Scarr T, Turgeon JJ, Allison JD. (2020) Influence of the community of associates on Sirex noctilio brood production is contextual. Ecological Entomology 45:456-465. 10.1111/een.12810
Aylward J, Havenga M, Dreyer LL, Roets F, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ. (2020) Genomic characterization of mating type loci and mating type distribution in two apparently asexual plantation tree pathogens. Plant Pathology 69:28-37. 10.1111/ppa.13094 PDF
Schröder ML, Slippers B, Wingfield MJ, Hurley BP. (2020) Invasion history and management of Eucalyptus snout beetles in the Gonipterus scutellatus species complex. Journal of Pest Science 93:11-25. 10.1007/s10340-019-01156-y PDF
Visagie CM, Yilmaz N, Vanderwolf K, Renaud JB, Sumarah MW, Houbraken J, Assebgui R, Seifert KA, Malloch D. (2020) Penicillium diversity in Canadian bat caves, including a new species, P. speluncae. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 5:1-15. 10.3114/fuse.2020.05.01
Huang J, Seidel R, Gershenzon J, Kandasamy D, Meddens AJH, Chonggang X, Goodsman DW, Adams HD, Raffa KF, Hammerbacher A, Towbridge AM, Kautz M, Hartmann H. (2020) Tree defence and bark beetles in a drying world: carbon partitioning, functioning and modelling. New Phytologist 225:25-36.
Potgieter LJ, Douwes E, Gaertner M, Measey J, Paap T, Richardson DM. 2020. Biological Invasions in South Africa’s Urban Ecosystems: Patterns, Processes, Impacts, and Management. In: Biological Invasions in South Africa. van Wilgen BW, Measey J, Richardson DM, Wilson JR, Zengeya TA. (eds). Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 275-309. PDF
Measey J, Robinson TB, Kruger N, Zengeya TA, Hurley BP. 2020. South Africa as a donor of alien animals. In: Biological Invasions in South Africa. van Wilgen BW, Measey J, Richardson DM, Wilson JR, Zengeya TA. (eds). Springer, pp 787-830. PDF
Liu FF, de Beer ZW, Divakar PK, Crespo A, Pizarro D, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Kanzi AM, Sayari M, Chang RL, Ferreira MA, Chen SF, Duong TA. (2019) DRaft genome sequences of five Calonectria species from Eucalyptus plantations in China, Celoiporthe dispersa, Sporothrix phasma and Alectoria sarmentosa. IMA Fungus 10(22) 10.1186/s43008-019-0023-5
Yin ML, Wingfield MJ, Zhou XD, de Beer ZW. (2019) Phylogenetic re-evaluation of the Grosmania penicillata complex (Ascomycota, Ophiostomatales), with the description of five new species from China and USA. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2019.12.003
Hurley BP, Fitza KNE, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2019) Sequence data reflect the introduction pathways of the Sirex woodwasp parasitoid, Ibalia leucospoides (Ibaliidae, Hymenoptera). Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12367
van Wyk S, Wingfield BD, De Vos L, van der Merwe NA, Santana QC, Steenkamp ET. (2019) Repeat-Induced Point Mutations Drive Divergence between Fusarium circinatum and Its Close Relatives. Pathogens 8(298):1-21. 10.3390/pathogens8040298 PDF
Yin M, Wingfield MJ, Zhou X, Linnakoski R, de Beer ZW. (2019) Taxonomy and phylogeny of the Leptographium olivaceum complex (Ophiostomatales, Ascomycota), including descriptions of six new species from China and Europe. MycoKeys 60:93-123. 10.3897/mycokeys.60.39069
Allison JD, Slippers B, Bouwer M, Hurley BP. (2019) Simulated leks increase the capture of female Sirex noctilio in the absence of host volatiles. International Journal of Pest Management :1-7. 10.1080/09670874.2019.1695074 PDF
Allison JD, Bernard Slippers, Marc Bouwer, Hurley BP. (2019) Simulated leks increase the capture of female Sirex noctilio in the absence of host volatiles. International Journal of Pest Management 10.1080/09670874.2019.1695074
Granados GM, McTaggart AR, Rodas CA, Roux J, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Species of Cryphonectriaceae occupy an endophytic niche in the Melastomataceae and are putative latent pathogens of Eucalyptus. European Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s10658-019-01887-9
Hirsch H, Wingfield MJ, van Wilgen B, Ruwanza S, Klein H, Keet JH, Jones W, Hurley BP, Harding G, Geldenhuys CJ, Geerts S, Cheek M, Canavan S, Allsopp MH, Richardson DM. (2019) Eucalyptus camaldulensis in South Africa - past, present, future. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 10.1080/0035919X.2019.1669732
Katumanyane A, Malan AP, Tiedt LR, Hurley BP. (2019) Steinernema bertusi n. sp. (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from South Africa. Nematology 10.1163/15685411-00003309
Magadlela A, Morcillo RFL, Kleinert A, Venter M, Steenkamp E, Valentine A. (2019) Glutamate dehydrogenase is essential in the acclimation of Virgilia divaricata, a legume indigenous to the nutrient-poor Mediterranean-type ecosystems of the Cape Fynbose. Journal of Plant Physiology 243 10.1016/j.jplph.2019.153053. PDF
Bose T, Roux J, Burgess TI, Shaw C, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Susceptibility of Eucalyptus grandis and Acacia mearnsii seedlings to five Phytophthora species common in South African plantations. Forest Pathology :e12560. 10.1111/efp.12560
Messal M, Slippers B, Naidoo S, Bezuidt O, Kemler M. (2019) Active fungal communities in asymptomatic Eucalyptus grandis stems differ between a susceptible and resistant clone. Microorganisms 7(10):375. 10.3390/microorganisms7100375
Wingfield BD, van Heerden CJ, van der Nest MA, Steenkamp ET, Roets F, Geiser DM, Duong TA, Dreyer LL, Coetzee MPA, Barnes I, Aylward J, Bushula-Njah VS, Simpson MC, Fourie A, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Draft genome sequences of Fusarium xylarioides, Teratosphaeria gauchensis and T. zuluensis and genome annotation for Ceratocystis fimbriata. IMA Fungus 10(13) 10.1186/s43008-019-0013-7 PDF
Visser EA, Wegrzyn JL, Steenkamp ET, Myburg AA, Naidoo S. (2019) Dual RNA-Seq Analysis of the Pine-Fusarium circinatum Interaction in Resistant (Pinus tecunumanii) and Susceptible (Pinus patula) Hosts. Microorganisms 7:315. 10.3390/microorganisms7090315 PDF
Tchotet Tchoumi JM, Coetzee MPA, Rajchenberg M, Roux J. (2019) Taxonomy and species diversity of Ganoderma species in the Garden Route National Park of South Africa inferred from morphology and multilocus phylogenies. Mycologia 10.1080/00275514.2019.1635387
van Wyk S, Harrison CH, Wingfield BD, De Vos L, van der Merwe NA, Steenkamp ET. (2019) The RIPper, a web-based tool for genome-wide quantification of Repeat-Induced Point (RIP) mutations. PeerJ 7:e7447. 10.7717/peerj.7447 PDF
Vainio EJ, Bezos D, Braganca H, Cleary M, Fourie G, Georgieva M, Ghelardini L, Hunnunen S, Ioos R, Martin-Garcia J, Martinez-Alvarez P, Mullet M, Oszako T, Papazova-Anakieve I, Piskur B, Romeralo C, Sanz-Ros A, Steenkamp ET, Tubby K, Wingfield MJ, Diez JJ. (2019) Sampling and detection strategies for the Pine Pitch Canker (PPC) disease pathogen Fusarium circinatum in Europe. Forests 10(723):1-28. 10.3390/f10090723 PDF
Bophela KN, Venter SN, Wingfield MJ, Duran A, Tarigan M, Coutinho TA. (2019) Xanthomonas perforans: A tomato and pepper pathogen associated with bacterial blight and dieback of Eucalyptus pellita seedlings in Indonesia. . Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-019-00657-9 PDF