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FABIans were privy to the skills and knowledge of Dr. Robert Waterhouse, an expert on comparative evolutionary and functional genomics of arthopods, and particularly disease-vector mosquitoes, from the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Dr. Waterhouse was visiting FABI as part of the genome annotation jamboree of the pine tree pest, Sirex noctilio.

Dr. Waterhouse also presented a special seminar titled “Genome biology and evolution of harmful and helpful arthropods”.  He discussed how comparative genomics can be used to better understand how insects have evolved to exploit their environment and take advantage of their ecological niches.

In his talk, Dr Waterhouse referred to the studies of various arthropod genomes to illustrate how studying their genomes has shed light on how they have evolved to improve their chances of survival in their respective environments. Amongst others, he discussed studies of Pediculus humanus (the human body louse), Mayetiola destructor (Hessian fly), Ixodes scapularis (the deer tick), Metaseiulus occidentalis (a predatory mite) and Manduca sexta (the tobacco hornworm).

Participants in the genome annotation jamboree include Prof. Bernard Slippers, Dr. Wilma Fick, Dr. Gudrun Dittrich-Schröder, Osmond Mlonyeni, Katrin Fitza, Josephine Queffelec, Quentin Guignard, Alisa Postma-Smidt, Bianca Jardim, Sophie Makua, Edohan Clasen, Zorada Swart, Hannes Strydom, Leandri Bezuidenhout and Jacek Zawada.

New Publications

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Phasha MM, Wingfield BD, Coetzee MPA, Santana QC, Fourie G, Steenkamp ET. (2017) Architecture and distribution of introns in core genes of four Fusarium species. G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics 7(11):3809-3820. 10.1534/g3.117.300344
Chen SF, Liu QL, Li GQ, Wingfield MJ. (2017) Quambalaria species associated with eucalypt diseases in southern China. Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering 10.15302/J-FASE-2017173 PDF
Meyer J, Berger DK, Christensen SA, Murray SL. (2017) RNA-Seq analysis of resistant and susceptible sub-tropical maize lines reveals a role for kauralexins in resistance to grey leaf spot disease, caused by Cercospora zeina. BMC Plant Biology 17:197. 10.1186/s12870-017-1137-9
Nel WJ, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW. (2017) A new genus and species for the globally important, multi-host root pathogen Thielaviopsis basicola. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12803
Aylward J, Wingfield BD, Dreyer LL, Roets F, Wingfield MJ, Steenkamp ET. (2017) Contrasting carbon metabolism in saprotrophic and pathogenic Microascalean fungi from Protea trees. Fungal Ecology 30:88-100. 10.1016/j.funeco.2017.09.002
Wingfield BD. (2017) South Africa can’t afford to see its universities pitch over the precipice. The Conversation https://theconversation.com/south-africa-cant-afford-to-see-its-universities-pitch-over-the-precipic PDF
Li GQ, Liu FF, Li JQ, Liu QL, Chen SF. (2017) Botryosphaeriaceae from Eucalyptus plantations and adjacent plants in China. Persoonia 10.3767/persoonia.2018.40.03 PDF
Tchotet Tchoumi JM, Coetzee MPA, Vivas M, Rajchenberg M, Roux J. (2017) Wood-rotting basidiomycetes associated with declining native trees in timber-harvesting compartments of the Garden Route National Park of South Africa. Austral Ecology 10.1111/aec.12524
Theron-De Bruin N, Dreyer LL, Ueckermann EA, Wingfield MJ, Roets F. (2017) Birds mediate a fungus-mite mutualism. Microbial Ecology 10.1007/s00248-017-1093-9
Wingfield BD, Vaughan K. (2017) Money woes force South Africa to revisit how it rewards researchers. The Conversation https://theconversation.com/money-woes-force-south-africa-to-revisit-how-it-rewards-researchers-8615 PDF