Research Matters

Welcome to Research Matters. This curated site highlights some of the University of Pretoria’s most impactful and innovative research which addresses some of our society’s most pressing concerns so that we can transform lives and communities. We are rated as the number one university in South Africa for research outputs. Our vision is to be a leading research-intensive university in Africa that is recognised internationally for its quality, relevance and impact. We develop people, create knowledge and strive to make a difference locally and internationally.


Latest featured research
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International Year of Plant Health (Part 2): How do the trees die?

Dr Trudy Paap explains that "The polyphagous shothole borer (PSHB) is a 2 mm long ambrosia beetle that is native to Southeast Asia."

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International Year of Plant Health (Part 3): How much is it costing commercial farmers?

According to Dr Trudy Paap, "Avocado trees are among the most susceptible agricultural crop trees to PHSB infestation and Fusarium disease. This is based on experiences in California and Israel."

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International Year of Plant Health (Part 4): What are we doing about it?

“The PSHB as an invasive species is relatively new to science, and has only been studied since the outbreaks in California and Israel in the early 2000s, so there are many unanswered questions about this pest. A better understanding of the beetle, it’s fungal associates, and how they interact in their invaded environment is essential to enhance our ability to manage the problem and reduce its impact,” said Dr Trudy Paap.

News & Analysis

Latest featured news & analysis
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International Year of Plant Health Part 5: How can we help? [Video]

Video: The polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) is a tiny, invasive black beetle from Asia that has recently been discovered in South Africa. Although only 2 mm in length, this tiny beetle has detrimental consequences for South African trees, as it carries a destructive fungus, Fusarium euwallaceae, from tree to tree.

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International Year of Plant Health Part 6: Are your trees at risk?

Here’s a handy list of the tree species which have been known to be infected by the polyphagous shot hole borer already.

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Why it’s so critical to continuously monitor and manage plant diseases

Most of us understand the critical importance of monitoring the spread of diseases. And it is as important for plant diseases as it is for humans.