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 Forestry, Fisheries and Environment. 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 Innovation (DSI)-National Research Foundation (NRF) Centre of Excellence in Plant Health Biotechnology (CPHB). 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, Allison JD, Barreto RW, Boekhout T, Boers J, Delgado MA, Dewing C, Fitza KNE, Furtado ECA, Gaya E, Hill R, Hobden A, Hu DM, Hülsewig T, Khonsanit A, Luangsa-Ard JJ, Mthembu A, Pereira CM, Price J-L, Pringle A, Qikani N, Sandoval-Denis M, Shumacher RK, Seifert KA, Slippers B, Tennakoon DS, Thanakitpipattana D, vanVuuren N, Groenewald JZ, Crous PW. (2024) New and Interesting Fungi. 7.. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 13:441–494. 10.3114/fuse.2024.13.12 PDF
Coutinho TA, Carstensen G, Venter SN, Chen SF, Tarigan M, Wingfield MJ. (2024) Bacterial community in apparently healthy and asymptomatic Eucalyptus trees and those with symptoms of bacterial wilt. Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s42161-024-01697-x
Visagie CM, Cruywagen EM, Duong TA. (2024) A new Paecilomyces from wooden utility poles in South Africa. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 13:163–181. 10.3114/fuse.2024.13.10
Aylward J, Wilson AM, Visagie CM, Spraker J, Barnes I, Buitendag C, Ceriani C, Del Mar Angel L, du Plessis D, Fuchs T, Gasser K, Krämer D, Li W, Munsamy K, Piso A, Price J-L, Sonnekus B, Thomas C, van der Nest A, van Dijk A, van Heerden A, van Vuuren N, Yilmaz N, Duong TA, van der Merwe NA, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2024) IMA Genome – F19: A genome assembly and annotation guide to empower mycologists, including annotated draft genome sequences of Ceratocystis pirilliformis, Diaporthe australafricana, Fusarium ophioides, Paecilomyces lecythidis, and Sporothrix stenoceras. IMA Fungus 15(1):12. 10.1186/s43008-024-00142-z
Ceriani C, Wingfield MJ, Fru F, van Wyk S, Rodas C, Wingfield BD, Steenkamp ET. (2024) Clonality and limited population diversity of Fusarium circinatum in Colombia. Forest Pathology 54(3):e12864. 10.1111/efp.12864
Paap T, Balocchi F, Burgess TI, Bose T, Wingfield MJ. (2024) A diverse range of Phytophthora species from botanical gardens in South Africa, including the novel Clade 5 species, Phytophthora mammiformis sp. nov.. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 13:111-122. 10.3114/fuse.2024.13.05
Ramaswe JB, Steenkamp ET, De Vos L, Fru FF, Adegeye OO, Wingfield BD. (2024) Sex pheromone receptor Ste2 orchestrates chemotropic growth towards pine root extracts in the pitch canker pathogen Fusarium circinatum. Pathogens 13:425. 10.3390/pathogens13050425
Marais I, Buitendag C, Duong TA, Crampton BG, Theron J, Kidanemarium D, Berger DK. (2024) Double-stranded RNA uptake for the control of the maize pathogen Cercospora zeina. Plant Pathology 73(6):1480-1490. 10.1111/ppa.13909
van Heerden A, Pham NQ, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Muro Abad JI, Durán A, Wilken PM. (2024) LAMP assay to detect Elsinoë necatrix; an important Eucalyptus shoot and leaf pathogen. Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-01-24-0086-RE
Silva GA, Oliveira MES, Rêgo GMS, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Ferreira MA. (2024) Chrysoporthe brasiliensis sp. nov. pathogenic to Melastomataceae in southeast Brazil. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2024.04.001
Van Lill M, Venter SN, Muema EK, Palmer M., Beukes CW, Chan WY, Steenkamp ET. (2024) SeqCode facilitates naming of South African rhizobia left in limbo. Systematics and Applied Microbiology 47(2-3):126504. 10.1016/j.syapm.2024.126504 PDF
Dankie VN, Steenkamp ET, De Vos L, Swalarsk-Parry BS, Dewing C, Fru F, Wilken PM, Mchunu NP, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, van der Nest MA. (2024) Growth, pathogenicity and sexual fertility of the African tree pathogen Ceratocystis albifundus. Journal of Plant Pathology :1-11. 10.1007/s42161-024-01634-y
Bornman S, Thomas C, Ntladi S, Wilken PM. (2024) Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is the causal agent of Sclerotinia stem rot on peanut (groundnut) in South Africa. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 19 10.1007/s13314-024-00537-2
Hiroyuki S, Marincowitz S, Roux J, Paap T, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ. (2024) A new genus and species of Cryphonectriaceae causing stem cankers on plantation eucalypts in South Africa. Plant Pathology :1-14. 10.1111/ppa.13883 PDF
Mapfumo P, Buthelezi S, Archer E, Swanevelder DZH, Wilken PM, Creux N. (2024) In-field climatic factors driving Sclerotinia head rot progression across different sunflower planting dates. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13873
Tarigan M, Wingfield MJ, Jami F, Marpaung YMAN, Duran A, Pham NQ. (2024) Pathogenicity of Chrysoporthe deuterocubensis on eucalypts in Indonesia. Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science 10.2989/20702620.2023.2279054
Caballol M, Serradó F, Barnes I, Camarero JJ, Valeriano C, Colangelo M, Oliva J. (2024) Climate, host ontogeny and pathogen structural specificity determine forest disease distribution at a regional scale. Ecography :e06974. 10.1111/ecog.06974 PDF
MISEV Consortium, Motaung T. (2024) Minimal information for studies of extracellular vesicles (MISEV2023): From basic to advanced approaches. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles 13(2):e12404. 10.1002/jev2.12404
Pham NQ, Suzuki H, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Barnes I, Duran A, Wingfield MJ. (2024) Cryptic sexual reproduction in an emerging Eucalyptus shoot and foliar pathogen. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13876
Francinah M. Ratsoma, Nthabiseng Z. Mokoena, Quentin C. Santana, Brenda D. Wingfield, Emma T. Steenkamp, Thabiso E. Motaung. (2024) Characterization of the Fusarium circinatum biofilm environmental response role. Journal of Basic Microbiology 00(00):1-16. 10.1002/jobm.202300536
Morrison EW, Duong TA, Garnas JR. (2024) A high-quality draft genome sequence of Neonectria faginata, causative agent of beech bark disease of Fagus grandifolia. Microbiology Resource Announcements 10.1128/mra.01048-23
Fitza KNE, Allison J, Slippers B, Chingandu N, Reed SE. (2024) Diversity and potential sources of introduction of the Beech leaf nematode (Litylenchus crenatae< mccannii) to Ontario, Canada. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology
De Vos L, van der Nest MA, Santana QC, van Wyk S, Leeuwendaal KS, Wingfield BD, Steenkamp ET. (2024) Chromosome-level assemblies for the pine pitch canker pathogen Fusarium circinatum. Pathogens 13(1):70. 10.3390/pathogens13010070
Chen BY, Wu WX, Chen SF. (2024) Wide distribution of Teratosphaeria epicoccoides and T. destructans associated with diseased Eucalyptus leaves in plantations in Southern China. Microorganisms 12:129. 10.3390/microorganisms12010129
Wingfield MJ, Pham NQ, Marincowitz S, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Wilson AM. (2024) Blast from the past: a study of decades-old fungal cultures resolves a long-standing tree disease mystery. Journal of Plant Pathology 106:377–384. 10.1007/s42161-023-01502-1
Crous PW, Costa MM, Kandemir H, Vermaas M, Vu D, Zhao L, Arumugam E, Flakus A, Jurjević Ž, Kaliyaperumal M, Mahadevakumar S, Murugadoss R, Shivas RG, Tan YP, Wingfield MJ, Abell SE, Marney TS, Danteswari C, Darmostuk V, Denchev CM, Denchev TT, Gené J, Etayo J, Gunaseelan S, Hubka V, Illescas T, Jansen GM, Kezo K, Kumar S, Larsson E, Mufeeda KT, Piatek M, Rodriguez-Flakus P, Sarma PVSRN, Stryjak-Bokacka M, Torres-Garcia D, Vauras J, Acal DA, Akulov A, Alhudaib K, Asif M, Balashov S, Baral H-O, Baturo-Cieśniewska A, Begerow D, Beja-Perreira A, Bianchinotti MV, Bilański P, Chandranayaka S, Chellappan N, Cowan DA, Custódio FA, Czachura P, Delgado G, De Silva NI, Dijksterhuis J, Dueñas M, Eisvand P, Fachada V, Fournier J, Fritsche Y, Fuljer F, Ganga KGG, Guerra MP, Hansen K, Hywel-Jones N, Ismail AM, Jacobs CR, Jankowiak R, Karich A, Kemler M, Kisło K, Klofac W, Krisai-Greilhuber I, Latha KPD, Lebeuf R, Lopes ME, Lumyong S, Maciá-Vicente JG, Maggs-Kölling G, Magistà D, Manimohan P, Martín MP, Mazur E, Mehrabi-Koushki M, Miller AN, Mombert A, Ossowska EA, Patejuk K, Pereira OL, Piskorski S, Plaza M, Podile AR, Polhorsky A, Pusz W, Raza W, Ruszkiewicz-Michalska M, Saba M, Sánchez RM, Singh R, Śliwa L, Smith ME, Stefenon VM, Strašiftáková D, Suwannarach N, Szczepańska K, Telleria MT, Tennakoon DS, Thines M, Thorn RG, Urbaniak J, van der Vegte M, Vasan V, Vila-Vićosa C, Voglmayr H, Wrzosek M, Zappelini J, Groenewald JZ. (2023) Fungal Planet description sheets: 1550-1613. Persoonia 51:280-417. 10.3767/persoonia.2023.51.08
Wilken PM, Lane FA, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2023) Unidirectional mating-type switching is underpinned by a conserved MAT1 locus architecture. Fungal genetics and Biology (103859) 10.1016/j.fgb.2023.103859
Schertler A, Thines M, Dawson W, van Kleunen M, Kreft H, Pergl J, Pyšek P, Weigelt P, Winter M, Seebens H, Wingfield MJ, Reino L, Lenzner B, Dellinger S, Moser D, Bufford JL, Ghelardini L, Santini A, Capinha C, Monteiro M, Essl F. (2023) Biogeography and global flows of 100 major alien fungal and fungus-like oomycete pathogens. Journal of Biogeography 10.1111/jbi.14755
van der Merwe E, Slippers B, Dittrich-Schröder G. (2023) Mechanical egg activation and rearing of first instar larvae of Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae). Insects 14(12):931. https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/14/12/931
Wingfield MJ, Marincowitz S, Barnes I, Tarigan M, Solís M, Duran A, Pham NQ. (2023) First report of phyllode rust on Acacia crassicarpa outside its native range. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12839