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

Kanzi AM, Steenkamp ET, Van der Merwe NA, Wingfield BD. (2019) The mating system of the Eucalyptus canker pathogen Chrysoporthe austroafricana and closely related species. Fungal Genetics and Biology 123:41-52. 10.1016/j.fgb.2018.12.001 PDF
Wingfield BD, Kolarik M, Menzies JG, Naidoo K, Pochopski O, Shoukouhi P, Santana QC, Seifert KA, Soal NA, Steenkamp ET, Tatham CT, Van der Nest MA, Havenga M, Findlay W, Liu M, Nguyen HDT, Lane FA, Morgan SW, De Vos L, Wilken PM, Doung TA, Aylward J, Coetzee MPA, Dadej K, De Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ. (2018) Nine draft genome sequences of Claviceps purpurea s.lat., including C. arundinis, C. humidiphila, and C. cf. spartinae, pseudomolecules for the pitch canker pathogen Fusarium circinatum, draft genome of Davidsoniella eucalypti, Grosmannia galeiformis, Quambalaria eucalypti, and Teratosphaeria destructans. IMA Fungus 9(2):401-418. 10.5598/imafungus.2018.09.02.10 PDF
Ebinghaus M, Maier W, Wingfield MJ. (2018) New host associations and a novel species for the gall-inducing Acacia rust genus Ravenelia in South Africa. MycoKeys (43):1-21. 10.3897/mycokeys.43.25090
Lee SR, Lee D, Yu JS, Benndorf R, Lee D-S, Huh J, de Beer ZW, Kim YH, Beemelmanns C, Kang KS, Kim KH. (2018) Natalenamides A–C, Cyclic Tripeptides from the Termite-Associated Actinomadura sp. RB99. Molecules 23(11) 10.3390/molecules23113003
Liu FF, Li GQ, Roux J, Barnes I, Wilson AM, Wingfield MJ, Chen SF. (2018) Nine novel species of Huntiella from southern China with three distinct mating strategies and variable levels of pathogenicity. Mycologia 10.1080/00275514.2018.1515450 PDF
McTaggart AR, Duong TA, Le VQ, Shuey LS, Smidt W, Naidoo S, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2018) Chromium sequencing: the doors open for genomics of obligate plant pathogens. BioTechniques 65(5):253-257. 10.2144/btn-2018-0019
De Beer ZW, Paap T. (2018) The spread of shothole borer beetles in South Africa is proving tough to control. The Conversation https://bit.ly/2Dl46ia
Coetzee MPA, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ. (2018) Armillaria root-rot pathogens: Species boundaries and global distribution. Pathogens 7(3):83. 10.3390/pathogens7040083
Aylward J, Wingfield BD, Dreyer LL, Roets F, Wingfield MJ, Steenkamp ET. (2018) Genomic overview of closely related fungi with different Protea host ranges. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2018.10.001
Aylward J, Roets F, Dreyer LL, Wingfield MJ. (2018) Teratosphaeria stem canker of Eucalyptus: two pathogens, one devastating disease. Molecular Plant Pathology 10.1111/mpp.12758
Palmer M, Venter SN, Coetzee MPA, Steenkamp ET. (2018) Prokaryotic species are sui generis evolutionary units. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 10.1016/j.syapm.2018.10.002
Vivas M, Rolo V, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2018) Maternal environment regulates morphological and physiological traits in Eucalyptus grandis. Forest Ecology and Management 432(15):631-636. 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.10.016
Mlonyeni XO, Wingfield BD, Greeff JM, Hurley BP, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2018) Population variation in traits of Deladenus siricidicola that could influence the biocontrol of Sirex noctilio in South Africa. International Journal of Pest Management 64(4):324-332. 10.1080/09670874.2017.1421327 PDF
Simpson MC, Martin Coetzee, Magriet van der Nest, Mike Wingfield, Brenda Wingfield. (2018) Ceratocystidaceae exhibit high levels of recombination at the mating-type (MAT) locus. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2018.09.003
Benndorf R, Guo H, Sommerwerk E, Weigel C, Garcia-Altares M, Martin K, Hu H, Küfner M, De Beer ZW, Poulsen M, Beemelmanns C. (2018) Natural products from Actinobacteria associated with fungus-growing termites. Antibiotics 7(3):83. 10.3390/antibiotics7030083 PDF
Fru FF, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2018) High genetic diversity of Fusarium circinatum associated with the first outbreak of pitch canker on Pinus patula in South Africa. Southern Forest: a Journal of Forest Science 10.2989/20702620.2018.1496312
Bose T, Wingfield MJ, Roux J, Vivas M, Burgess TI. (2018) Community composition and distribution of Phytophthora species across adjacent native and non-native forests of South Africa. Fungal Ecology 36:17-25. 10.1016/j.funeco.2018.09.001
Nel WJ, Duong TA, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Hammerbacher A, De Beer ZW. (2018) Heterothallism revealed in the root rot fungi Berkeleyomyces basicola and B. rouxiae. Fungal Biology 122(11):1031-1040. 10.1016/j.funbio.2018.08.006
Baron S, Van der Merwe NA, Maritz-Olivier C. (2018) The genetic relationship between R. microplus and R. decoloratus ticks in South Africa and their population structure. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 129:60-69. 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.08.003 PDF
Chang R, Duong TA, Taerum SJ, Wingfield MJ, Zhou XD, Yin M, De Beer ZW. (2018) Ophiostomatoid fungi associated with the spruce bark beetle Ips typographus, including 11 new species from China. Persoonia 42:50-74. 10.3767/persoonia.2019.42.03 PDF