The Polyphagous Shothole Borer (PSHB) outbreak in South Africa is the largest geographical outbreak of this beetle in the world. It is affecting trees in all sectors: the agricultural and commercial forestry sector, urban trees (public spaces, streets, gardens), as well as native trees in natural forests. Over the past few years, researchers at FABI had been in contact with senior academics from seven universities in relation to PSHB research. From these engagements a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary research network evolved. At present we are aware of 16 research projects on PSHB conducted by Honours, Masters and PhD students, research fellows and postdoctoral fellows, that are overseen by altogether 17 supervisors from the different universities.

The PSHB Research Network was established at a meeting of these researchers in May 2019 at FABI. The aims and strategies of the PSHB Research Network are as follows:

  1. To align and coordinate all research efforts by bona fide researchers from academic institutions in South Africa. This is to make sure that expertise and resources are utilized to the maximum in order to answer the most important research questions related to PSHB and its fungal symbionts.
  2. To provide science- and data-based advice to all stakeholders in government and private sectors.
  3. To effectively communicate new research findings related to PHSB among network members and to stakeholders and the public.
  4. To leverage funding. By showing that research projects form part of a well-structured, coherent research programme, more funding opportunities should become available.

 

New Publications

Séité S, Harrison MC, Sillam-Dussés D, Lupoli R, Van Dooren TJM, Robert A, Poissonnier L-A, Lemainque A, Renault D, Acket S, Andrieu M, Viscarra J, Sul HS, de Beer ZW, Bornberg-Bauer E, Vasseur-Cognet M. (2021) Extreme longevity of highly fecund termite queens achieved by mitochondrial and insulin upregulation without harmful lipid signatures or accumulation. bioRxiv :2021.05.10.4433. 10.1101/2021.05.10.443390
Crous PW, Hernández-Restrepo M, Schumacher RK, Cowan DA, Maggs-Kölling G, Marais E, Wingfield MJ, Yilmaz N, Adan OCG, Akulov A, Álvarez Duarte E, Berraf-Tebbal A, Bulgakov TS, Carnegie AJ, de Beer ZW, Decock C, Dijksterhuis C, Duong TA, Eichmeier A, Hien LT, Houbraken JAMP, Khanh TN, Liem NV, Lombard L, Lutzoni FM, Miadlikowska JM, Nel WJ, Pascoe IG, Roets F, Roux J, Samson RA, Shen M, Spetik M, Thangavel R, Thanh HM, Thao LD, van Nieuwenhuijzen EJ, Zhang JQ, Zhang Y, Zhao LL, Groenewald JZ. (2021) New and Interesting Fungi. 4. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 7:255-343. https://bit.ly/3xAxUQM PDF
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 113(3):536-558. 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
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