Numerous CTHB projects aim to improve our understanding regarding the biology and ecology of the microbes and insects associated with woody hosts indigenous to South Africa.

The tree species receiving most attention are Syzygium cordatum, Syzygium guineense, Acacia karroo, Acacia mellifera, Acacia erioloba, Adansonia digitata, Pterocarpus angolensis, Sclerocarya birrea, Rapanea melanophloeos, Colophospermum mopane, Aloe plictilis and species in the Proteaceae, Rutaceae, Rubiaceae and the genera Virgillia and Terminalia.

The specific microbes that are targeted include species in the Botryosphaeriaceae, Cryphonectriaceae and Uredinales (Ravenelia, Puccinia and Uromyces), as well as the genera Armillaria, Ganoderma, Fusarium, Mycosphaerella, Phellinus, Ceratocystis, Gondwanamyces, Coniothyrium (Colletogloeopsis / Phaeophleospora / Kirramyces), Cylindrocladium, Dothistroma, Pantoea, Ophiostoma, Candidatus Liberibacter africanus and Phytophthora.

The insects currently receiving most attention include bark beetles, bruchid beetles, as well as Coryphodema tristis and a number of species that could possibly be used in biocontrol programmes.

Various CTHB projects also consider the ecology and population biology of specific tree species to evaluate the effect that human practices (e.g. timber harvesting, coppicing, bark stripping, etc.) might have on the target plant, ecosystems and the conservation of natural habitats. Many further focus on the possible impacts that soil properties, nutrients, rhizobial symbioses and climatic factors might have on the invasiveness of certain species in diverse landscapes. A small number of projects also aim to investigate the effects that drought, frost and fire might have on the sustainable usage of indigenous woody resources.

New Publications

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