The second field trip starting in Ladysmith, passing through Swaziland and Mozambique to Maputo - back to Pretoria along the N4. We searched 50 sites for plants displaying symptoms that could be related to viral infections. Miss Mmapula Lesailane the latest addition to the Patho Solutions team joined us as an apprentice and we look forward to the rest of the program with us.
The first of a series of field trips to sample maize plants that show signs of viral infections along important transport routes (as identified by the Maize industry). The sampling crew consisted of Gert Pietersen and AB Twala from Patho Solutions as well as Natalie Nel, an MSc. student and Prof. Gerhard Pietersen. Training for the sampling method and identification of symptoms was implemented over about 1800 km with 60 sampling sites. The project is in association with SANSOR and the work will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Stellenbosch and University of the North West.
Molecular analysis of 2000 Fynbos samples was performed to detect the presence of Phytoplasma to screen for alternative hosts for the Aster Yellows disease causing agent. Amongst a host of phytoplasma that were detected in the process, two instances of Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris infections were identified in the Iceplant, Mesembryanthemum guerichianum.
* Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris group
Members from the University of Pretoria in collaboration with Patho Solutions sampled 300 Fynbos plants in Vredendal, South Africa. Leaves were sampled and insects vacuumed (collected) from each Fynbos plant. The plants will then be tested for Aster Yellows phytoplasma as well as Liberibacter Africanus. The insects will be tested for Aster Yellows phytoplasma.
The M12 meeting for Tropicsafe Consortium was held in Santiago, Chile. Attended by South African partners Patho Solutions, University of Pretoria and University of Stellenbosch.