DongHyeon Lee presented his prestige seminar at FABI on November 4th. It was a joyous occasion as this was the ninth PhD degree completed by a student at FABI so far this year. Following his seminar, DongHyeon did his PhD oral examination which he passed.

DongHyeon was the first student from South Korea to register for and complete a PhD at FABI. He was supervised by Profs Mike WingfieldBrenda Wingfield and Jolanda Roux. His external examiner was Prof. Tobin Peever of Washington State University, who also presented a special seminar at FABI.

DongHyeon presentation, titled "Invasive biology of Ceratocystis in South Africa", covered all aspects of his study of the pathogen Ceratocystis albifundus. He conducted a population genetics study on the pathogen that infects Protea cynaroides in the Western Cape. His results showed that human activity probably contributed to the spread of the pathogen to forestry plantations, where it causes serious damage on Acacia mearnsii with considerable implications for the local forestry industry. DongHyeon’s study will have an impact on the way that the spread of the pathogen is managed in South Africa and will help with the breeding of a P. cyranoides variety that is resistant to C. albifundus. He has already published one chapter of his PhD (see below) and will also submit some of the other chapters for publication in international journals.

Lee DH, Roux J, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ. (2015) Variation in growth rates and aggressiveness of naturally occurring self-fertile and self-sterile isolates of the wilt pathogen Ceratocystis albifundus. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12349