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As the ARC campus of Plant Protection is celebrating our 60th year of existence, we are embarking on a journey to honour our past, present and future employees that have been and will continue to build the legacy of this significant scientific establishment. Your reading experience in the next few months ​will include a trip down memory lane to re-visit the exceptional contributions that past researchers made to the agricultural and natural scientific fields as well as the path that is currently being followed by our new and upcoming stars to ensure we deliver on our mandate of plant and natural resource protection for the future. We are honoured to be able to share this journey with you, our clients, supporters, friends and colleagues and we trust that you will enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed compiling the publications. (Download May Edition in ​pdf)


Plant Health and Protection (ARC-PHP) focusses on ecologically sound management strategies for agricultural pests, plant diseases and invasive plants, and promotes the use of advantageous organisms to strengthen agricultural production in a sustainable way, through research, technology development and technology transfer.

ARC-PHP was established in 1962 with the amalgamation of the Divisions of Entomology and Plant Pathology of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. These Divisions had been in existence since Unification in 1910. In 1981 research on invasive weeds was formally added to the ARC-PHP and during 2000 the Agricultural Biodiversity Information Unit joined the institute. This multidisciplinary Campus follows a holistic approach to the pest, disease and alien invasive plant problems, in line with the principles of integrated pest management as defined in Agenda 21 of the Rio Convention.  [Read more]


Due to the potental economic impact of this virus, it is essential that planting material be certified free from this virus, for trade purposes. The Taqman RT-qPCR assay, as described in the International Seed Federation (ISF March 2020), was optimized, and is now readily available at the ARC-PHP Virology Laboratory, which is registered with DALRRD. Test results will be available within two weeks after receipt of samples. Standard terms and conditions apply. pdf.  For further enquiries and quotations, plea​se contact our RTM, Dr Elna van der Linde, or one of our Virologists: Ms Marika van der Merwe or Ms Nicola Robbertse.


Viridi Elisa Kits.JPGThe ARC has launched proudly locally produced ELISA kits for the detection of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) and Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV) plant viruses. The antiserum used in the production of the kits were isolated from South African strains of the plant viruses. The kits compete very favourable with the cost of imported diagnostic kits and are available in various sizes. All orders can be placed at Virology@arc.agric.za.

​Research Programmes


​At the Biosystematics Division we conduct systematic and ecological research on economically and environmentally important groups of arthropods, nematodes and fungi. We are also the custodians of the South African National Collections of Arachnida, Fungi, Insects and Nematodes, which form an invaluable basis for taxonomic research and services and an archive of the country's biological diversity.  Through our wide-ranging taxonomic expertise and extensive reference sources we are able to provide comprehensive biosystematic advisory services and products to the research community concerned with agricultural and natural resource management in southern Africa and further afield.

Research Team Manager:
Dr Isabel Rong, Email: rongi@arc.agric.za, Campus: Roodeplaat (West), Pretoria

Insect Ecology

The Insect Ecology Division focuses on fundamental and applied research on insects of importance to sustainable agriculture.

BIOLOGICAL CONTROL of agricultural pests (Diamondback Moth and Insect Rearing) is promoted and actively supported through research.

The research programme on HONEYBEES aims at the conservation of these ecologically and commercially important insects through the promotion of sustainable beekeeping practices and the study of bee pests and diseases. Our Beekeeping Development Projects ensure that all South Africans have access to the rewarding practice of keeping bees. 

Research Team Manager: Dr. Roger Price,  Email: pricer@arc.agric.za , Campus: Roodeplaat (East), Pretoria

Pesticide Science

The Persticide Science Division is involved with research on the impact of pesticides on the environment, the ecotoxicology and efficacy of pesticides, pesticide residue analysis (Pesticide Analytical Laboratory), the control of pests of stored grain and oil seed (Stored Grain and Oil Seed Unit), the study of the impact of pesticides on the environment, Quelea control, and suitable pesticide application technology (Unit for Pesticide Science).

Research Team Manager: Dr. Roger Price,  Email: pricer@arc.agric.za , Campus: Roodeplaat (East), Pretoria

The Plant Microbiology & Pathology Division provides specialist research and routine diagnostic and advisory services on plant diseases such as soil-borne diseases; seed-borne diseases and foliar diseases using traditional and molecular techniques on fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens with emphasis on those affecting crops to industries, nurseries, commercial and small-scale farmers.

The main research focus areas of the Plant Microbiology & Pathology are conducted within the following Units: Virology; Soil Health; Beneficial Nitrogen Fixation; Soil borne Plant Diseases; Fungal and Bacteriology.  

Research Team Manager: Dr Elna van der Linde, Email: VDLindeE@arc.agric.za, Campus: Roodeplaat (West), Pretoria

​The Weeds Research Division is responsible for research on the ecology and control of invasive alien plants in South Africa. Our emphasis is on non-native problem plants in conservation and pasture situations, as well as non-native aquatic weeds. Crop weeds do not normally fall within our research field.

Fact Sheets on Invasive Alien Plants and their Biological Control Agents, sponsored by the Working for Water Programme (THIS IS AN ONGOING PROJECT, AND NEW FACT SHEETS WILL BE UPLOADED AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE)

Research Team Manager: Dr. Roger Price,  Email:
pricer@arc.agric.za , Campus: Roodeplaat (East), Pretoria