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

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