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, 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
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 10.1111/ppa.13009
Slippers B, Alisic E. (2019) African science needs more leaders. Here’s how to develop them. The Conversation
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