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

Drenkhan R, Ganley B, Martin-Garcia J, Vahalik P, Adamson K, Adamcikova K, Ahumada R, Blank L, Braganca H, Capretti P, Capretti P, Cleary M, Cornejo C, Davydenko K, Diez J, Lehtiharvi H, Dvorak M, Enderle R, Fourie G, Georgieva M, Ghelardini L, Hantula J, Ioos R, Iturritxa E, Kanetis L, Karpun N, Koltay A, Landera E, Markovskaja S, Mesanza N, Milenkovic I, Musolin D, Musolin D, Nikolaou K, Nowakowske J, Ogris N, Oskay F, Oszaka T, Papazova-Anakieva I, Paraschiv M, Pasquali M, Pecori F, Rafoss T, Raitelaityte K, Raposo R, Robin C, Rodas C, Santini A, Sanz-Ros A, Selikhovkin A, Solla A, Soukainen M, Soulioti N, Steenkamp E, Tsopelas P, Vemic A, Vettraino A, Wingfield M, Woodward S, Zamora-Ballesteros C, Mullet M. (2020) Global geographic distribution and host range of Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of Pine Pitch Canker. Forests 11(724):1-38. 10.3390/f11070724
Havenga M, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Dreyer LL, Roets F, Chen SF, Aylward J. (2020) Low genetic diversity and strong geographic structure in introduced populations of the Eucalyptus foliar pathogen Teratosphaeria destructans. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13235
Pysek P, Mandrak NE, Meyerson LA, Pauchard A, Pergl J, Roy HE, Seebens H, van Kleunen M, Vilà M, Wingfield MJ, Liebhold AM, Kühn I, Jeshke J, Hulme PE, Simberloff D, Bacher S, Blackburn TM, Carlton JT, Dawson W, Essl F, Foxcroft LC, Genovesi P, Richardson DM. (2020) Scientists' warning on invasive alien species. Biological Reviews 10.1111/brv.12627 PDF
Marincowitz S, Barnes I, De Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ. (2020) Epitypification of Ceratocystis fimbriata. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 10.3114/fuse.2020.06.14
Slippers B, Visser M, Roux J. (2020) Why it’s so critical to continuously monitor and manage plant diseases. The Conversation https://theconversation.com/why-its-so-critical-to-continuously-monitor-and-manage-plant-diseases-139423#comment_2251101