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 in just 16 years 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

Pham NQ, Barnes I, Chen SF, Pham TQ, Lombard L, Crous PW, Wingfield MJ. (2018) New species of Cylindrocladiella from plantation soils in South-East Asia. MycoKeys 32:1-24. 10.3897/mycokeys.32.23754 PDF
Sex: birds do it, bees do it - and fungi do it too. Here’s how, and why it matters
Nagel J, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2018) Evolution of the mating types and mating strategies in prominent genera in the Botryosphaeriaceae. Fungal Genetics and Biology 10.1016/j.fgb.2018.03.003
Siphathele Sibanda, Stanford Kwenda, Collins K. Tanui, Divine Shyntum, Teresa Coutinho, Lucy Moleleki. (2018) Transcriptome profiling reveals the EanI/R quorum sensing regulon in Pantoea ananatis LMG 2665T. Genes 9(3):148. 10.3390/genes9030148
Wilson A, Van der Nest M, Wilken P, Wingfield M, Wingfield B. (2018) Pheromone expression reveals putative mechanism of unisexuality in a saprobic ascomycete fungus. PLOS One 13(3):e0192517. 10.1371/journal.pone.0192517 PDF
De Beer ZW. (2018) A tiny beetle and its deadly fungus is threatening South Africa’s trees. The Conversation (27 February) PDF
Fourie G, van der Merwe NA, Wingfield BD, Bogale M, Wingfield MJ, Steenkamp ET. (2018) Mitochondrial introgression and interspecies recombination in the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex. IMA Fungus 9(1):37-48. 10.5598/imafungus.2018.09.01.04
Palmer M, Steenkamp ET, Coetzee MPA, Avontuur JR, Chan WY, Van Zyl E, Blom J, Venter SN. (2018) Mixta gen. nov., a new genus in the Erwiniaceae. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 10.1099/ijsem.0.002540
Van Wyk S, Wingfield BD, De Vos L, Santana QC, Van der Merwe N, Steenkamp ET. (2018) Multiple independent origins for a subtelomeric locus associated with growth rate in Fusarium circinatum. IMA Fungus 9(1):27-36. 10.5598/imafungus.2018.09.01.03 PDF
Abate BA, Slippers B, Wingfield MJ, Malan AP, Hurley BP. (2018) Diversity of entomopathogenic nematodes and their symbiotic bacteria in South African plantations and indigenous forests. Nematology 10.1163/15685411-00003144
Palmer M, Steenkamp ET, Coetzee MPA, Blom J, Venter SN. (2018) Genome-based characterization of biological processes that differentiate closely related bacteria. Frontiers in Microbiology 9:113. 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00113 PDF
Paap T, de Beer ZW, Migliorini D, Nel W, Wingfield MJ. (2018) The polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) and its fungal symbiont Fusarium euwallaceae: a new invasion in South Africa. Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-018-0545-0 PDF
Van den Berg N, Christie JB, Engelbrecht J, Aveling TAS. (2018) Callose and β-1,3-glucanase inhibit Phytophthora cinnamomi in a resistant avocado rootstock. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12819
Wilken PM, Steenkamp ET, Van der Nest MA, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW, Wingfield BD. (2018) Unexpected placement of the MAT1-1-2 gene in the MAT1-2 idiomorph of Thielaviopsis. Fungal Genetics and Biology 10.1016/j.fgb.2018.01.007
Mlonyeni XO, Wingfield BD, Greef JM, Hurley BP, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2018) Population variation in traits of Deladenus siricidicola that could influence the biocontrol of Sirex noctilio in South Africa. International Journal of Pest Management 10.1080/09670874.2017.1421327
Zlatkovic M, Wingfield MJ, Jami F, Slippers B. (2018) Host specificity of co-infecting Botryosphaeriaceae on ornamental and forest trees in the Western Balkans. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12410
Wingfield BD. (2018) People, funding and constant learning are key to creating research excellence. The Conversation (21 January) PDF
Slippers B, Singh S. (2018) African mothers in science need more support. Providing it is actually easy. The Conversation (10 January) PDF
Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, McTaggart AR, Wingfield BD. (2018) Fungal species and their boundaries matter – Definitions, mechanisms and practical implications. Fungal Biology Reviews 10.1016/j.fbr.2017.11.002
Liversage J, Coetzee MPA, Bluhm BH, Berger DK, Crampton BG. (2018) LOVe across kingdoms: Blue light perception vital for growth and development in plant–fungal interactions. Fungal Biology Reviews 10.1016/j.fbr.2017.11.003
Liu FF, Barnes I, Roux J, Wingfield MJ, Chen SF. (2018) Molecular phylogenetics and microsatellite analysis reveal a new pathogenic Ceratocystis species in the Asian-Australian Clade. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12820
Adamson K, Mullett MS, Solheim H, Barnes I, Müller MM, Hantula J, Vuorinen M, Kačergius A, Markovskaja S, Musolin DL, Davydenko K, Keča N, Ligi K, Priedite RD, Millberg H, Drenkhan R. (2018) Looking for relationships between the populations of Dothistroma septosporum in northern Europe and Asia. Fungal Genetics and Biology 110:15-25. 10.1016/j.fgb.2017.12.001
Coetzee MPA, Musasira NY, Roux J, Roets F, van der Merwe NA, Wingfield MJ. (2018) Armillaria root rot spreading into a natural woody ecosystem in South Africa. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12804
Nel WJ, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW. (2018) A new genus and species for the globally important, multi-host root pathogen Thielaviopsis basicola. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12803
Li GQ, Liu FF, Li JQ, Liu QL, Chen SF. (2018) Botryosphaeriaceae from Eucalyptus plantations and adjacent plants in China. Persoonia 40:63-95. 10.3767/persoonia.2018.40.03 PDF
Theron-De Bruin N, Dreyer LL, Ueckermann EA, Wingfield MJ, Roets F. (2018) Birds mediate a fungus-mite mutualism. Microbial Ecology 10.1007/s00248-017-1093-9
Human ZR, Crous CJ, Roets F, Venter SN, Wingfield MJ, de Beer ZW. (2018) Biodiversity and ecology of flower-associated actinomycetes in different flowering stages of Protea repens. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 111(2):209-226. 10.1007/s10482-017-0942-3
Stewart JE, Ross-Davis AL, Graҫa RN, Alfenas AC, Peever TL, Hanna JW, Uchida JY, Hauff RD, Kadooka CY, Kim MS, Cannon PG, Namba S, Simeto S, Pérez CA, Rayamajhi MB, Lodge DJ, Arguedas M, Medel-Ortiz R, López-Ramirez MA, Tennant P, Glen M, Machado PS, McTaggart AR, Carnegie AJ, Klopfenstein NB, Cleary M. (2018) Genetic diversity of the myrtle rust pathogen (Austropuccinia psidii) in the Americas and Hawaii: Global implications for invasive threat assessments. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12378
McTaggart AR, Shuey LS, Granados GM, du Plessis E, Fraser S, Barnes I, Naidoo S, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2018) Evidence that Austropuccinia psidii may complete its sexual life cycle on Myrtaceae. Plant Pathology 67:729-734. 10.1111/ppa.12763
Wondafrash M, Slippers B, Garnas J, Hurley BP. (2018) Parasitoid assemblage associated with a North American pine weevil in South Africa. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12246