Professor Emma Steenkamp and PhD students Darryl Herron and Gerda Fourie attended the 16th Annual Fusarium workshop hosted at Kansas State University in Kansas, USA from 21-26 June 2015.

Darryl and Gerda arrived a week earlier to assist and learn from Bruce Ramundo and Amy Beyer, two assistants working in Prof. John Leslie’s lab. FABI will in June 2016, for the second time, host this workshop so that everything learnt in this time will be brought home to FABI.

The workshop covered everything related to Fusarium and is a much sought after course for many working with this incredible genus. The five-day workshop was split into lectures and laboratory sessions. Instructors gave short talks before laboratory sessions and were present during laboratory sessions to engage with participants.

The workshop taught participants how to recognise and identify more than 70 species of Fusarium. Participants were further taught how to culture, isolate, store and extract DNA from cultures and also what to do with this DNA i.e., sequencing, genomics, barcoding, population studies, etc.

The workshop was led by Prof. John F. Leslie, one of the world’s foremost experts in Fusarium and based at the Department of Plant Pathology at Kansas State University. Prof. Steenkamp was one of ten invited instructors that helped to teach workshop participants. Other instructors and all experts in their respective fields included Prof. David Geiser, Dr Brett Summerell, Prof. Yin-Won Lee, Prof. Antonio Logrieco and Prof. Ludwig Pfenning.

The participants were all handed certificates at the end of the workshop.