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

Maphosa MN, Steenkamp ET, Kanzi AM, Van Wyk S, De Vos L, Santana QC, Duong TA, Wingfield BD. (2022) Intra-Species genomic variation in the pine pathogen Fusarium circinatum. Journal of Fungi 8:657. 10.3390/jof8070657
Lee DH, Nam Y, Wingfield MJ, Park H. (2022) First report of Dutch Elm Disease caused by Ophiostoma novo-ulmi in South Korea. Forests 13:968. 10.3390/f13070968
Bose T, Hammerbacher A. (2022) The first report of Phytophthora multivesiculata causing black rot of Cymbidium and Ansellia africana from South Africa. Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-03-22-0623-PDN
Pal E, Allison JD, Hurley BP, Slippers B, Fourie G. (2022) Genetic diversity of the two-spotted stink bug Bathycoelia distincta (Pentatomidae) associated with macadamia orchards in South Africa. PLoS ONE 17(6) 10.1371/journal.pone.0269373
Hartley J, Engelbrecht J, Van den Berg N. (2022) Detection and prevalence of Rosellinia necatrix in South African avocado orchards. European Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s10658-022-02532-8