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

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
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
Schröder ML, Slippers B, Wingfield MJ, Hurley BP. (2019) Invasion history and management of Eucalyptus snout beetles in the Gonipterus scutellatus species complex. Journal of Pest Science 10.1007/s10340-019-01156-y
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
Wang QC, Chen SF. (2019) Calonectria pentaseptata causes severe leaf disease on cultivated Eucalyptus in Leizhou Peninsula of southern China. Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-05-19-1009-RE PDF
Jami F, Marincowitz S, Slippers B, Crous PW, Le Roux JJ, Richardson DM, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Botryosphaeriaceae associated with Acacia heterophylla (La Reunion) and Acacia koa (Hawaii). Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2019.07.001 PDF
Abate BA, Slippers B, Wingfield MJ, Conlong DE, Burger DA, Hurley BP. (2019) Virulence and survival of native entomopathogenic nematodes for the management of white grubs in South Africa. Biological Control 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2019.104043
Hoang MTV, Irinyi L, Chen SCA, Sorrell TC, TIBoMFWG, Meyer W, Arabatzis M, Arthur I, Cano-Lira JF, Cardinali G, Castañón LR, Chen W, Chindamporn A, Colombo AL, Desnos-Ollivier M, de Beer W, de Hoog S, Dromer F, Garcia-Hermoso D, Gryzenhout M, Guarro J, Halliday C, Hendrickx M, Huhndorf S, Irinyi L, Levesque CA, Meyer W, Luiza Moretti M, de Medeiros Muniz M, de Azevedo Melo AS, Satie Nishikaku A, Normand A-C, Pais C, Piarroux R, Ranque S, Robbertse B, Robert V, Schoch CL, Seifert KA, de Almeida Soares CM, Sorrell TC, Spouge JL, Stubbe D, Lucia Taylor M, Toriello C, Velegraki A, Yurayart C, Maria Zancopé-Oliveira R. (2019) Dual DNA Barcoding for the Molecular Identification of the Agents of Invasive Fungal Infections. Frontiers in Microbiology 10(1647) 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01647
van der Nest A, Wingfield MJ, Janoušek J, Barnes I. (2019) Lecanosticta acicola: A growing threat to expanding global pine forests and plantations. Molecular Plant Pathology 10.1111/mpp.12853
Estrada-de los Santos P, Palmer M, Steenkamp ET, Maluk M, Beukes C, Hirsch AM, James EK, Venter SN. (2019) Trinickia dabaoshanensis sp. nov., a new name for a lost species. Archives in Microbiology 10.1007/s00203-019-01703-2
Queffelec J, Wooding AL, Greef JM, Garnas JR, Hurley BP, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2019) Mechanisms that influence sex ratio variation in the invasive hymenopteran Sirex noctilio in South Africa. Ecology and Evolution :1-8. 10.5061/dryad.f3p8j8g PDF
Fourie A, van der Nest MA, De Vos L, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Barnes I. (2019) QTL mapping of mycelial growth and aggressiveness to distinct hosts in Ceratocystis pathogens. Fungal Genetics and Biology 131:103242. 10.1016/j.fgb.2019.103242
van der Nest A, Wingfield MJ, Ortiz PC, Barnes I. (2019) Biodiversity of Lecanosticta pine-needle blight pathogens suggests a Mesoamerican Centre of origin.. IMA Fungus 1:2 10.1186/s43008-019-0004-8
Beukes CW, Boshoff FS, Phalane FL, Hassen AI, le Roux MM, Stępkowski T, Venter SN, Steenkamp ET. (2019) Both alpha- and beta-rhizobia occupy the root nodules of Vachellia karroo in South Africa. 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01195 PDF
Ioos R, Aloi F, Piskur B, Guinet C, Mullet M, Berbegal M, Braganca H, Cacciola SO, Oskay F, Cornejo C, Adamson K, Douanla-Meli C, Kacergius A, Martinez-Alvarez P, Nowakowska JA, Luchi N, Vettraino AM, Ahumada R, Pasquali M, Fourie G, Kanetis L, Alves A, Ghelardini L, Dvorak M, Sanz-Ros A, Diez JJ, Baskarathevan J, Aguayo J. (2019) Transferability of PCR-based diagnostic protocols: An international collaborative case study assessing protocols targeting the quarantine pine pathogen Fusarium circinatum. Scientific Reports 10.1038/s41598-019-44672-8
Beukes CW, Sereme TK, Phalane FL, Mthombeni LS, Palmer M, Hassen AI, Chan WY, Avontuur J, van Zyl E, Steenkamp ET, Venter SN. (2019) Paraburkholderia strydomiana sp. nov. and Paraburkholderia steynii sp. nov.: rhizobial symbionts of the fynbos legume Hypocalyptus sophoroides. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 10.1007/s10482-019-01269-5
Wilson AM, van der Nest MA, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2019) It’s All in the Genes: The Regulatory Pathways of Sexual Reproduction in Filamentous Ascomycetes. Genes 10(5):330. 10.3390/genes10050330
Palmer M, Venter SN, McTaggart AR, Coetzee MPA, Van Wyk S, Avontuur JR, Beukes CW, Fourie G, Santana QC, Van der Nest MA, Blom J, Steenkamp ET. (2019) The synergistic effect of concatenation in phylogenomics: the case in Pantoea. PeerJ 10.7717/peerj.6698 PDF