The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) was established based on a very small team of researchers at the University of the Free State and focused on a single threatening Eucalyptus disease problem. The programme has since grown to become highly recognised internationally as the single strongest programme dealing with pest and pathogen problems in plantation forestry in the world. The TPCP has also brought huge energy to agricultural research and education in the biological sciences in South Africa. For example, it formed the foundation for the establishment of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria, which has become a flagship research centre promoting many aspects of plant improvement in South Africa.

The TPCP represents a Co-operative research initiative between the University of Pretoria and all private forestry companies in South Africa. It is also supported by the South African Government Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Other than long and short-term research, the TPCP provides members with extension services, training of forestry students at Universities, access to a world-class disease and pest diagnostic clinic and guidance in dealing with tree pest and pathogen problems. One of the key products of the TPCP is to produce biological control agents for insect pests that damage plantations belonging to members. This work depends on outstanding quarantine green house and related facilities.

The TPCP formed the basis for the establishment of the Department of Science and Technology (DST)/National Research Foundation (NRF) Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB). This programme focuses on the health of native South African trees. Given that pests and pathogens are moving from native to non-native plantation trees and vice versa, there is substantial synergy between these two programmes.

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
Visagie CM, Frisvad JC, Houbraken J, Visagie A, Samson RA, Jacobs K. (2021) A re-evaluation of Penicillium section Canescentia, including the description of five new species. Persoonia 46:163-187. 10.3767/persoonia.2021.46.06
Fraser S, McTaggart AR, Roux J, Wingfield MJ. (2021) Hyperparasitism by Sphaerellopsis macroconidialis may lower over-wintering survival of Uromycladium acaciae. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12691
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
Engelbrecht J, Duong TA, Prabhu AS, Seedat M, van den Berg N. (2021) Genome of the destructive oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomi provides insights into its pathogenicity and adaptive potential. BMC Genomics 22:302. 10.1186/s12864-021-07552-y