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

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
Zumaquero A, Martinez-Ferri E, Matas AJ, Reeksting B, Olivier NA, Pliego-Alfaro F, Barcelo A, van den Berg N, Pliego C. (2019) Rosellinia necatrix infection induces differential gene expression between tolerant and susceptible avocado rootstocks. PLoS ONE 14(2):e0212359. 10.1371/journal.pone.0212359
Backer R, Naidoo S, van den Berg N. (2019) The NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENES 1 (NPR1) and Related Family: Mechanistic Insights in Plant Disease Resistance. Frontiers in Plant Science 10:102. 10.3389/fpls.2019.00102
du Plessis E, Granados GM, Barnes I, Ho WH, Alexander BJR, Roux J, McTaggart AR. (2019) The pandemic strain of Austropuccinia psidii causes myrtle rust in New Zealand and Singapore. Australasian Plant Pathology :1-4. 10.1007/s13313-019-0624-x
Fitza KNE, Garnas JR, Lombardero MJ, Ayres MP, Krivak-Tetley FE, Ahumada R, Hurley BP, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2019) The global diversity of Deladenus siricidicola in native and non-native populations. Biological Control 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2019.01.014
Pham NQ, Barnes I, Chen SF, Liu FF, Dang NQ, Pham TQ, Lombard L, Crous PW, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Ten new species of Calonectria from Indonesia and Vietnam. Mycologia 10.1080/00275514.2018.1522179 PDF
Nsibo DL, Barnes I, Kunene NT, Berger DK. (2019) Influence of farming practices on the population genetics of the maize pathogen Cercospora zeina in South Africa. Fungal Genetics and Biology 10.1016/j.fgb.2019.01.005
Conlon BH, Aanen DK, Beemelmanns C, De Beer ZW, De Fine Licht HH, Gunde-Cimerman N, Schiøtt M, Poulsen M. (2019) Reviewing the taxonomy of Podaxis: opportunities for understanding extreme fungal lifestyles. Fungal Biology 123(3):183-266. 10.1016/j.funbio.2019.01.001
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
Liu FF, Li GQ, Roux J, Barnes I, Wilson AM, Wingfield MJ, Chen SF. (2019) 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
Kuhn DN, Livingstone DS, Richards JH, Manosalva P, van den Berg N, Chambers AH. (2019) Application of genomic tools to avocado (Persea americana) breeding: SNP discovery for genotyping and germplasm characterization. Scientia Horticulturae 246:1-11. 10.1016/j.scienta.2018.10.011
Aylward J, Roets F, Dreyer LL, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Teratosphaeria stem canker of Eucalyptus: two pathogens, one devastating disease. Molecular Plant Pathology 20(1):8-19. 10.1111/mpp.12758
Palmer M, Venter SN, Coetzee MPA, Steenkamp ET. (2019) Prokaryotic species are sui generis evolutionary units. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 10.1016/j.syapm.2018.10.002
Fru FF, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2019) High genetic diversity of Fusarium circinatum associated with the first outbreak of pitch canker on Pinus patula in South Africa. Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science 10.2989/20702620.2018.1496312
Burgess TI, Tan YP, Garnas J, Edwards J, Scarlett KA, Shuttleworth LA, Daniel R, Dann EK, Parkinson LE, Dinh Q, Shivas RG, Jami F. (2019) Current status of the Botryosphaeriaceae in Australia. Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-018-0577-5 PDF
Tan YP, Shivas RG, Marney TS , Edwards J , Dearnaley J , Jami F , Burgess TI. (2019) Australian cultures of Botryosphaeriaceae held in Queensland and Victoria plant pathology herbaria revisited. Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-018-0559-7 PDF
Meurisse N, Rassati D, Hurley BP, Brockerhoff EG, Haack RA. (2019) Common pathways by which non-native forest insects move internationally and domestically. Journal of Pest Science 10.1007/s10340-018-0990-0
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, 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
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
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 122(12):1201-1214. 10.1016/j.funbio.2018.10.001
van den Berg N, Mohamed W, Olivier NA, Swart V, Crampton B. (2018) Transcriptome analysis of an incompatible Persea americana-Phytophthora cinnamomi interaction reveals the involvement of SA- and JA-pathways in a successful defense response. PLoS ONE 13(10):e0205705. 10.1371/journal.pone.0205705
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 122(12):1184-1191. 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