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
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
Wingfield BD, Millar B. (2019) How the open access model hurts academics in poorer countries. The Conversation https://bit.ly/2Gn3skG
Fell S, De Beer ZW. (2019) The impact of the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer on Pecan trees in South Africa. SA Pecan 82:11-13. https://bit.ly/2U2Nyj6 PDF
Avontuur JR, Palmer M, Beukes CW, Chan WY, Coetzee MPA, Blom J, Stępkowski T, Kyrpides NC, Woyke T, Shapiro N, Whitman WB, Venter SN, Steenkamp ET. (2019) Genome-informed Bradyrhizobium taxonomy: where to from here?. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 10.1016/j.syapm.2019.03.006
Bradshaw RE, Sim AD, Chettri P, Dupont P-Y, Guo Y, Hunziker L, McDougal RL, van der Nest A, Fourie A, Wheeler D, Cox MP, Barnes I. (2019) Global population genomics of the forest pathogen Dothistroma septosporum reveal chromosome duplications in high dothistromin-producing strains. Molecular Plant Pathology 10.1111/mpp.12791
Naidoo S, Slippers B, Plett JM, Coles D, Oates CN. (2019) The road to resistance in forest trees. Frontiers in Plant Science 10:273. 10.3389/fpls.2019.00273
Slippers B, Alisic E. (2019) African science needs more leaders. Here’s how to develop them. The Conversation
Martın-Garcia J, Zas R, Solla A, Woodward S, Hantula J, Vainio EJ, Mullett M, Morales-Rodrıguez M, Vannini A, Martınez-Alvarez P, Pinto G, Alves A, Amaral J, Wingfield MJ, Fourie G, Steenkamp ET, Ahumada R, Sera B, Sanz-Ros AV, Raposo R, Elvira-Recuenco M, Iturritxa E, Gordon TR , Diez JJ. (2019) Environmentally friendly methods for controlling pine pitch canker . Plant Pathology 10(723):1-28. 10.1111/ppa.13009
Sadiković D, Piškur B, Barnes I, Hauptman T, Diminić D, Wingfield MJ, Jurc D. (2019) Genetic diversity of the pine pathogen Lecanosticta acicola, in Slovenia and Croatia. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13017
Haavik LJ, Hurley BP, Allison JD. (2019) Effect of Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) attack density on Pinus sylvestris (Pinaceae) survival. Canadian Entomologist 10.4039/tce.2019.12
Wondafrash M, Slippers B, Hurley BP, Garnas J. (2019) Local antagonism and resource partitioning between two invasive pine plantation pests. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12330 PDF
Van den Berg N, Du Toit M, Morgan SW, Fourie G, De Beer ZW. (2019) First Report of Fusarium euwallaceae on Persea americana in South Africa. Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-10-18-1818-PDN
Nel WJ, Duong TA, De Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Black root rot: A long known but little understood disease. Plant Pathology 68(5):834-842. 10.1111/ppa.13011
van der Nest MA, Wingfield MJ, McTaggart AR, Van Wyk S, De Vos L, Trollip C, Santana QC, Naidoo K, Dong TA, Wilken PM, Chan W-Y, Palmer M, Soal NA, Roodt D, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield BD. (2019) Genomic analysis of the aggressive tree pathogen Ceratocystis albifundus. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2019.02.002 PDF
Zlatkovic M, Wingfield MJ, Jami F, Slippers B. (2019) Genetic uniformity characterizes the invasive spread of Neofusicoccum parvum and Diplodia sapinea in the Western Balkans. Forest Pathology 49:e12491. 10.1111/efp.12491
Zumaquero A, Martinez-Ferri E, Matas AJ, Reeksting B, Olivier NA, Pliego-Alfaro F, Barcelo A, van den Berg N, Pliego C. (2019) Rosellinia necatrix infection induces differential gene expression between tolerant and susceptible avocado rootstocks. PLoS ONE 14(2):e0212359. 10.1371/journal.pone.0212359
Backer R, Naidoo S, van den Berg N. (2019) The NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENES 1 (NPR1) and Related Family: Mechanistic Insights in Plant Disease Resistance. Frontiers in Plant Science 10:102. 10.3389/fpls.2019.00102
du Plessis E, Granados GM, Barnes I, Ho WH, Alexander BJR, Roux J, McTaggart AR. (2019) The pandemic strain of Austropuccinia psidii causes myrtle rust in New Zealand and Singapore. Australasian Plant Pathology 48:253-256. 10.1007/s13313-019-0624-x
Stevens GG, Pérez-Fernández MA, Morcillo RJL, Kleinert A, Hills P, Brand DJ, Steenkamp ET, Valentine AJ. (2019) Roots and nodules responds differently to P starvation in the mediterranean-type legume Virgilia divaricata. Frontiers in Plant Science 10 10.3389/fpls.2019.00073
Fitza KNE, Garnas JR, Lombardero MJ, Ayres MP, Krivak-Tetley FE, Ahumada R, Hurley BP, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2019) The global diversity of Deladenus siricidicola in native and non-native populations. Biological Control 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2019.01.014
Rajeshkumar KC, Yilmaz N, Marathe SD, Seifert KA. (2019) Morphology and multigene phylogeny of Talaromyces amyrossmaniae, a new synnematous species belonging to the section Trachyspermi from India. MycoKeys 45:41-56. 10.3897/mycokeys.45.32549
Pham NQ, Barnes I, Chen SF, Liu FF, Dang NQ, Pham TQ, Lombard L, Crous PW, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Ten new species of Calonectria from Indonesia and Vietnam. Mycologia 111:78-102. 10.1080/00275514.2018.1522179 PDF
Nsibo DL, Barnes I, Kunene NT, Berger DK. (2019) Influence of farming practices on the population genetics of the maize pathogen Cercospora zeina in South Africa. Fungal Genetics and Biology 125:36-44. 10.1016/j.fgb.2019.01.005
Conlon BH, Aanen DK, Beemelmanns C, De Beer ZW, De Fine Licht HH, Gunde-Cimerman N, Schiøtt M, Poulsen M. (2019) Reviewing the taxonomy of Podaxis: opportunities for understanding extreme fungal lifestyles. Fungal Biology 123(3):183-266. 10.1016/j.funbio.2019.01.001
Kanzi AM, Steenkamp ET, Van der Merwe NA, Wingfield BD. (2019) The mating system of the Eucalyptus canker pathogen Chrysoporthe austroafricana and closely related species. Fungal Genetics and Biology 123:41-52. 10.1016/j.fgb.2018.12.001 PDF
Liu FF, Li GQ, Roux J, Barnes I, Wilson AM, Wingfield MJ, Chen SF. (2019) Nine novel species of Huntiella from southern China with three distinct mating strategies and variable levels of pathogenicity. Mycologia 110:1145-1171. 10.1080/00275514.2018.1515450 PDF
Kuhn DN, Livingstone DS, Richards JH, Manosalva P, van den Berg N, Chambers AH. (2019) Application of genomic tools to avocado (Persea americana) breeding: SNP discovery for genotyping and germplasm characterization. Scientia Horticulturae 246:1-11. 10.1016/j.scienta.2018.10.011
Aylward J, Roets F, Dreyer LL, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Teratosphaeria stem canker of Eucalyptus: two pathogens, one devastating disease. Molecular Plant Pathology 20(1):8-19. 10.1111/mpp.12758
Palmer M, Venter SN, Coetzee MPA, Steenkamp ET. (2019) Prokaryotic species are sui generis evolutionary units. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 42(2):145-158. 10.1016/j.syapm.2018.10.002
Fru FF, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2019) High genetic diversity of Fusarium circinatum associated with the first outbreak of pitch canker on Pinus patula in South Africa. Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science 10.2989/20702620.2018.1496312
Burgess TI, Tan YP, Garnas J, Edwards J, Scarlett KA, Shuttleworth LA, Daniel R, Dann EK, Parkinson LE, Dinh Q, Shivas RG, Jami F. (2019) Current status of the Botryosphaeriaceae in Australia. Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-018-0577-5 PDF
Tan YP, Shivas RG, Marney TS , Edwards J , Dearnaley J , Jami F , Burgess TI. (2019) Australian cultures of Botryosphaeriaceae held in Queensland and Victoria plant pathology herbaria revisited. Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-018-0559-7 PDF