Barcoding as a tool to track emerging pests: the case of the sugarcane long-horned beetle
Sugarcane long-horned beetle (Cacosceles newmannii) larva in a sugarcane stalk. Picture taken by Marion Javal.

Barcoding as a tool to track emerging pests: the case of the sugarcane long-horned beetle

Identifying agricultural crop pests quickly and reliably is critical to track their spread and to apply suitable control measures where needed. However, the identification of insect pests is often hampered by the lack of taxonomic expertise, especially in complex and poorly known tropical groups. DNA barcoding is often used as a supporting tool to identify species in the context of invertebrate pest management but relies on comprehensive and well-curated molecular databases.

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Unseen arrivals: what is South Africa unknowingly importing?
Biosecurity inspections in South Africa as part of international agricultural trade. Clockwise from top left: microscopic inspections of fruit at Stellenbosch DALRRD laboratories; pre-export inspection of citrus at exporter’s premises; inspection of cut flowers at OR Tambo airport; inspection of bonsai plants at Stellenbosch DALRRD laboratories. Figure reproduced from Davina Saccaggi’s PhD dissertation at Stellenbosch University. Photos by DALRRD.

Unseen arrivals: what is South Africa unknowingly importing?

Global agricultural trade is the single biggest pathway of introduction of alien invertebrates and microorganisms. Each imported grain, fruit, vegetable, plant or flower may be carrying a host of unseen and unwanted passengers – including insects, mites, fungi or viruses.

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African Union recognises world leader in invasion biology
Prof Dave Richardson

African Union recognises world leader in invasion biology

Prof Dave Richardson from the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB) at Stellenbosch University (SU) and a world leading scientist in the field of invasion biology, is the recipient of the 2018 Kwame Nkrumah Award for Scientific Excellence.

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Being an efficient dispersal vector in birds
One of the bird species in the study, the red-eyed dove (Streptopelia semitorquata) (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, Atamari)

Being an efficient dispersal vector in birds

A recent study by Thabiso Mokotjomela (Research Fellow, University of the Witwatersrand) and colleagues at the C·I·B (core team members Karen Esler & Colleen Downs) found that a few garden birds, such as the red-winged starlings can help the spread of alien invasive plants.

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C·I·B Partners Conference celebrates successful partnerships
Attendees at the C·I·B Partners Conference held on 10 September 2014, Stellenbosch. Photo credit: Ignatius Vlok

C·I·B Partners Conference celebrates successful partnerships

It is ten years since the launch of the C·I·B in September 2004, and last month we held our first Partners Conference in Stellenbosch to celebrate the success of our current partnerships and to explore new areas of collaboration.

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