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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

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The origin of the southern African biotype of Chromolaena odorata: strong evidence puts an old question to bed

The origin of the southern African biotype of Chromolaena odorata: strong evidence puts an old question to bed
Costas Zachariades1,2, Iain D. Paterson3
1Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council; 2School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal; 3Department of Zoology & Entomology, Rhodes University

The neotropical shrub Chromolaena odorata (Asteraceae) remains a major invasive alien plant in the subtropical regions of southern Africa. From early in the South African biological control research programme, initiated in 1988, it was evident that the form of C. odorata invading southern Africa (designated the SA biotype) differed from that invading other parts of the Old World (designated the Asian/West African or A/WA biotype). Furthermore, for many years no plants identical to the SA biotype were found during exploratory surveys for biocontrol agents in the Americas. These issues posed a problem for the biocontrol programme in that many of the insects and pathogens collected from other morphological forms of C. odorata developed sub-optimally on the SA biotype. In the late

1990s anecdotal evidence accumulated to indicate that this biotype originated from one of the islands in the northern Caribbean (collectively known as the Greater Antilles and including Jamaica and Cuba). A molecular study examining the ITS region was conducted in the early 2000s, but was inconclusive. In order to establish with confidence that the SA biotype originated in this region, and thus that biocontrol agents collected from this region would have a high degree of compatibility with the weed, the current molecular study, using ISSRs, was conducted. This study has provided strong evidence that the C. odorata invading southern Africa originates either from Jamaica or Cuba. Genetically, the Jamaica-Cuba-South Africa clade is highly distinct from C. odorata from other parts of its wide native range.

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…

26-02-2019

This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training

22-01-2019

During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group

04-09-2018

Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?

01-03-2018

On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released

28-02-2018

Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised

25-01-2018

The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more