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

Avontuur JR, Palmer M, Beukes CW, Wai YC, Tasiya T, van Zyl E, Coetzee MPA, Stepkowski T, Venter SN, Steenkamp ET. (2022) Bradyrhizobium altum sp. nov., Bradyrhizobium oropedii sp. nov. and Bradyrhizobium acaciae sp. nov. from South Africa show locally restricted and pantropical nodA phylogeographic patterns. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 167 10.1016/j.ympev.2021.107338 PDF
Solís M, Wingfield MJ, Hammerbacher A, Naidoo S. (2021) Comparison of the infection biology of Teratosphaeria destructans and Teratosphaeria epicoccoides on Eucalyptus. Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-09-21-1877-RE
Houbraken J, Visagie CM, Frisvad J. (2021) Recommendations To Prevent Taxonomic Misidentification of Genome-Sequenced Fungal Strains. Microbiology Resource Announcements 10:e0107420. 10.1128/MRA.01074-20
Gevers CR, Slippers B, Germishuizen I, Dittrich-Schröder G, Hurley BP. (2021) The distribution and diversity of Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and its gall associates in South Africa. Southern Forests 10.2989/20702620.2021.1944395
Aylward J, Wingfield MJ, Roets F, Wingfield BD. (2021) A high-quality fungal genome assembly resolved from a sample accidentally contaminated by multiple taxa. BioTechniques 72 10.2144/btn-2021-0097
Van Rooyen E, Paap T, De Beer ZW, Townsend G, Fell S, Nel WJ, Morgan S, Hill M, Roets F. (2021) The polyphagous shot hole borer beetle: Current status of a perfect invader in South Africa. South African Journal of Science 117(11/12) 10.17159/sajs.2021/9736
De Beer ZW, Fell S. (2021) The Threat of the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer to Pecan Trees is perhaps less than initially expected. SA Pecan 90:29-31. bit.ly/3kZpldC PDF
Pyrri I, Visagie CM, Soccio P, Houbraken J. (2021) Re-Evaluation of the Taxonomy of Talaromyces minioluteus. Journal of Fungi 7:993. 10.3390/jof7110993
Chang R, Wingfield MJ, Marincowitz S, De Beer ZW, Zhou X, Duong TA. (2021) Ophiostomatoid fungi including a new species associated with Asian larch bark beetle Ips subelongatus, in Heilongjiang (Northeast China). Fungal Systematics and Evolution 8:155-161. 10.3114/fuse.2021.08.12
Si H-L, Zheng X-X, Li X-C, Su Y-M, Bose T, Chang R-L. (2021) Dlhawksworthia flavoparmeliae sp. nov., a new endolichenic fungus in Phaeosphaeriaceae. Phytotaxa 525(1):51-58. 10.11646/phytotaxa.525.1.6
Botha G, Fourie A, Hartley J, Van den Berg N, Fourie G. (2021) The impact of Rosellinia necatrix on South African macadamia orchards. SAMAC Journal :54-56. PDF
Ranketse M, Hefer C, Pierneef R, Fourie G, Myburg Z. (2021) South African locally selected macadamia cultivars have a unique genetic identification profile compared to imported cultivars. SAMAC Journal PDF
Sun BD, Visagie CM, Chen AJ, Houbraken J. (2021) A taxonomic review of Penicillium section Charlesia. Mycological Progress 20(11):1383–1397. 10.1007/s11557-021-01735-3
Zhang Y, Zhou Y, Sun W, Zhao L, Pavlic-Zupanc D, Crous PW, Slippers B, Dai Y. (2021) Toward a natural classification of Botryosphaeriaceae: A study of the type specimens of Botryosphaeria sensu lato. Frontiers in Microbiology 12:2938. 10.3389/fmicb.2021.737541
Swart Z, Duong T, Wingfield BD, Postma A, Slippers B. (2021) The relevance of studying insect–nematode interactions for human disease. Pathogens and Global Health 10.1080/20477724.2021.1996796
Liu LL, Wu WX, Chen SF. (2021) Species diversity and distribution characteristics of Calonectria in five soil layers in a Eucalyptus plantation. Journal of Fungi 7:857. 10.3390/jof7100857 PDF
Chang R-L, Zhang X, Hongli S, Zhao G, Yuan X, Liu T, Bose T, Dai M. (2021) Ophiostomatoid species associated with pine trees (Pinus spp.) infested by Cryphalus piceae from eastern China, including five new species. Mycokeys 83:181-208. 10.3897/mycokeys.83.70925
Duong AT, Aylward J, Ametrano CG, Poudel E, Santana QC, Wilken PM, Martin A, Arun-Chinnappa KS, De Vos L, DiStefano I, Grewe F, Huhndorf S, Lumbsch HT, Rakoma JR, Steenkamp ET, Sun Y, van der Nest MA, Wingfield MJ, Yilmaz N, Wingfield BD. (2021) Draft genome assembly of Fusarium pilosicola, Meredithiella fracta, Niebla homalea, Pyrenophora teres hybrid WAC10721, and Teratosphaeria viscida. IMA Fungus 12(1):30. 10.1186/s43008-021-00077-9
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) Lifespan prolonging mechanisms and insulin upregulation without fat accumulation in long-lived reproductives of a higher termite. bioRxiv PREPRINT 10.1101/2021.05.10.443390
Human ZR, Roets F, Crous CJ, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW, Venter SN. (2021) Fire impacts bacterial composition in Protea repens (Proteaceae) infructescences. FEMS Microbiology Letters 10.1093/femsle/fnab132
Wilson AM, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2021) Genetic networks that govern sexual reproduction in the Pezizomycotina. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 85(4):e00020-21. 10.1128/MMBR.00020-21. PDF
NandaKafle G, Huegen T, Potgieter SC, Steenkamp ET, Venter SN, Brözel VS. (2021) Niche Preference of Escherichia coli in a Peri-Urban Pond Ecosystem. Life 11 10.3390/life11101020 PDF
Nagel JH, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2021) Next-generation sequencing provides important insights into the biology and evolution of the Botryosphaeriaceae. Fungal Biology Reviews 38:25-43. 10.1016/j.fbr.2021.09.002
Liu FF, Duong TA, Barnes I, Wingfield MJ, Chen SF. (2021) Population diversity and genetic structure reveal patterns of host association and anthropogenic impact for the globally important fungal tree pathogen Ceratocystis manginecans. Journal of Fungi 7:759. 10.3390/jof7090759 PDF
Tsopelas P, Soulioti N, Wingfield MJ, Barnes I, Marincowitz S, Tjamos EC, Paplomatas EJ. (2021) Ceratocystis ficicola causing a serious disease of Ficus carica in Greece. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 60(2):337-349. 10.36253/phyto-12794
Visagie CM, Goodwell M, Nkwe DO. (2021) Aspergillus diversity from the Gcwihaba Cave in Botswana and description of one new species. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 8:81-89. 10.3114/fuse.2021.08.07
Si H-L, Su Y-M, Zheng X-X, Ding M-Y, Bose T, Chang R-L. (2021) Phylogenetic and morphological analyses of Coniochaeta isolates recovered from Inner Mongolia and Yunnan revealed three new endolichenic fungal species. Mycokeys 83:105-121. 10.3897/mycokeys.83.71140
Nel WJ, De Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ, Poulsen M, Aanen DK, Wingfield BD, Duong TA. (2021) Phylogenetic and phylogenomic analyses reveal two new genera and three new species of ophiostomatalean fungi from termite fungus combs. Mycologia 113(6):1199-1217. 10.1080/00275514.2021.1950455
Thabiso E Motaung, Emma T Steenkamp. (2021) Extracellular Vesicles in Teasing Apart Complex Plant-Microbiota Links: Implications for Microbiome-Based Biotechnology. mSystems 6(4):e00734-21. 10.1128/mSystems.00734-21.
Huang JB, Hammerbacher A, Gershenzon J, van Dam NM, Sala A, McDowell NG, Chowdhury S, Gleixner G, Trumbore S, Hartmann H. (2021) Storage of carbon reserves in Spruce trees is prioritized over growth in the face of carbon limitation. PNAS 118(33):e2023297118. 10.1073/pnas.2023297118