The primary goal of the CTHB is to promote the health of trees native to South Africa through the use of biotechnology. To accomplish this, CTHB projects typically consider the pathogens and pests that are associated with native trees and woody hosts. The CTHB also explores the possible effects that factors such as climate change, society, natural forest health and plant genetics may have on the health of native woody resources and ecosystems.

The CTHB is hosted by the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria. Within FABI it is intimately linked to the Tree Protection Cooperative Programme (TPCP), a research programme that has a track record of more than two decades in dealing with the pests and diseases of commercially important forestry species.

The CTHB is structured as a virtual Centre of Excellence that conducts scientific research via a collaborative network, with the node of the network represented by researchers at UP. In addition to the UP group, this network involves researchers and their postgraduate students from other Higher Education Institutions in South Africa. These institutions include the Agricultural Research Council, University of Stellenbosch, University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand, University of the Free State and Rhodes University.

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