The 24th Advanced Phylogenetics Workshop took place at FABI from 7 - 11 November 2016. The workshop provided attendees with hands-on experience in the different software that is currently used to infer phylogenies.
A mini-symposium on 15 November showcased the diversity of research on the woodwasp Sirex noctilio conducted at FABI by postgraduate students and staff, as well as collaborators from Japan. Professor Bernard Slippers opened the meeting by giving an overview on the introduction of the Sirex woodwasp in South Africa and the research that emanated from it. Alisa Postma: Amylostereum-Deladenus-Sirex genomics: Opportunities arising from the genomes of a tripartite symbiotic system MSc student Bianca Jardim: Characterising sex determination genes of Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siridicae) PhD student Josephine Queffelec: Sirex noctilio: Influence of reproductive biology on invasive species PhD student Katrin Fitza: The diversity and specificity in the Deladenus-Sirex-Amylostereum complex PhD student Osmond Mlonyeni: Genotypic and phenotypic diversity in non-native populations of Sirex-Amylostereum-Deladenus Dr Marc Bouwer: Potential semiochemicals for Sirex noctilio and Ibalia leucospoides PhD student Quentin Guignard: Chemical and visual influences on insect behaviour: Opportunities to study applied biology of Sirex noctilio Dr Brett Hurley: Sirex-Deladenus-Environment interactions: Lessons from tens of thousands of dissection Prof. Prof.
Prof. Jolanda Roux of the TPCP and CTHB research groups in FABI recently participated in a week long biodiversity study in Angola.
Dr. Sandra Denham, a senior research scientist and project leader from the United Kingdom’s Forest Research, visited FABI in November while attending the Institute’s Advanced Phylogenetics Workshop.
Prof. Roy Halling, curator of Mycology at the Institute of Systematic Botany at the New York Botanical Garden, presented a special seminar at FABI on 7 November.
FABI congratulates Mesfin Gossa on successfully defending his PhD thesis at his oral exam following his prestige seminar on 1 November.
What do seven biologists, three engineers and a multimedia student all have in common? A passion for transdisciplinary research and excellence in scientific innovation.
The annual DuPont Plant Sciences Symposium was held at the North West University in Potchefstroom on the 18th of October. The theme of the symposium was “Grain production under stress conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
FABI congratulates Stanford Kwenda on completing his PhD degree. Last week Stanford successfully his PhD thesis.
Six FABI researchers, students and collaborators attended the IUFRO Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania 2016 held in Beijing from 24-27 October. Prof. Prof. Posters Dittrich-Schroder, G. Fitza, K. GuiQing, L. JieQiong, L. Li J. Pavlic-Zuanc, D. QianLi, l. Oral Presentations: Chen, S. Liu, F. Pavlic-Zupanc, D. Roux, J. Wingfield, M.
The Director’s Forum is one of the special projects and programmes of IUFRO. In this regard it shares the level of importance as the special programme for developing capacities.
The first day of the inaugural IUFRO Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania 2016 in Beijing was brought to a close by a welcome cocktail reception for delegates.
On the afternoon of Monday 24th October, the Chinese Society of Forestry (CSF) began its 4th Forest Science Forum.
Professor Mike Wingfield, President of IUFRO and Director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) had the pleasure of presiding over the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between IUFRO and AFPNet. Mike, in his vote of thanks, said Ï looked forward to connecting the strengths of IUFRO and AFPNet – particularly in research and “the empowerment of young forest researchers.
FABI Director, Prof. Mike Wingfield, in his capacity as IUFRO President, welcomed delegates to the 55th IUFRO Board Meeting held in Beijing on 21-22 October.
A postodoctoral fellow in FABI, Dr Gudrun Dittrich-Schröder, shares her experience of attending a major international congress with us.
On Friday 14 October FABI was honoured by a brief visit of Prof. Jianguo Hou, Vice Minister of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China.
Two FABIans, Dr Brett Hurley and Ms. The main purpose of the trip was to visit the insect rearing and quarantine facilities and to learn from the processes and quality control systems used.
FABI PhD student Joey Hulbert extended his Cape Citizen Science project to two popular tourist towns in the Western Cape over a weekend in September to raise awareness about the threat of pathogens to the fynbos biome.
During the week of 25-30 September, eight FABIans participated in the largest ever gathering of entomologists, the 2016 International Congress of Entomology.
FABI has sponsored the replacement of the plaque on the monument at Cedara near Pietermaritzburg that commemorates the groundbreaking biological control work by the South African entomologist Dr. F.G.C. Tooke.
FABI Director, Prof. Mike Wingfield, in his capacity as the IUFRO President, hosted members of the South African committee of the International Forestry Students Association (IFSA) on 29-30 September.
The joint congress of the South African Society for Bioinformatics (SASBi) and the South African Genetics Society (SAGS) was held at the Nelson Mandela school of Medicine, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal 20-23rd September 2016. The congress involved researchers from institutions across the country and provided an ideal platform for postgraduate students to present their research.
The head of the pathology programme of the China Eucalyptus Research Centre (CERC), Dr ShuaiFei Chen visited FABI in September. ShuaiFei completed his Ph.
FABI hosted a comparative genomics workshop for postgraduate students and staff from 13 to 15 September. Titled “Workshop on Linux Essentials and Variant Discovery with GATK”, the three-day session was presented by Dr Vang Quy Le from the Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark.
On 6 September members of the FABI community attended and presented work at the African Center for Gene Technologies (ACGT) Synthetic Biology Symposium at the African Pride Irene Country Lodge.
The 2016 Pretoria_UP iGEM team, instructed by FABIan Dr. Steven Hussey, partnered with the African Center for Gene Technologies (ACGT) to facilitate a plant synthetic biology workshop on 5 September 2016 at the University of Pretoria.
Former Dean in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and previously a head in its Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, Prof. Fritz Rijkenberg, visited FABi for the first time last week.
FABI’s Fruit Tree Biotechnology Programme hosts annual Hans Merensky Foundation Student Presentation seminars
The Fruit Tree Biotechnology Programme (FTBP) held the annual Hans Merensky Foundation Student Presentation seminars at FABI on 8 September.
Members of Cereal Foliar Pathogen Research (CFPR), Molecular Plant Pathogen Interactions (MPPI) and Molecular Plant Physiology (MPP) research groups attended the African Centre for Gene Technologies (ACGT) Plant Biotechnology Forum on 8 September 2016 at the CSIR International Convention Centre.
Armed with cooler bags, sunblock and camp chairs, FABIans joined the fray of UP staff and students who got together to celebrate the end of winter.
Professor Martin Coetzee attended the 87th Meeting of the Mycological Society of America (MSA) from 10-14 August in Minneapolis, USA.
FABians celebrated the arrival of spring with a Spring Tea social. Photographs: Morne Booij-Liewes
FABI celebrated the graduation of two PhD and four MSc students at the Spring Graduation Ceremony of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences on 1 September. PhD Dr Sarai Olivier-Espejel - Patterns and drivers of insect community diversity and composition in non-native black wattle and pine plantations in South Africa. Supervisor: Dr Jeff Garnas. Co-supervisor: Dr Brett Hurley. Dr Elsie Cruywagen - Diversity and taxonomy of fungi infecting species of Adansonia (Baobab). Supervisor: Prof. Co-supervisors: Prof. MSc Matt Laubscher – Functional genomics analysis of Eucalyptus grandis secondary cell wall-related transcription factors EgrNAC26 and EgrNAC61 through heterologous induction in Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplasts Supervisor: Dr. Co-supervisors: Dr Eshchar Mizrachi and Prof. Juanita Avontuur - The classification of novel Bradyrhizobium species associated with indigenous southern African legumes. Supervisor: Prof. Co-supervisor: Prof. Johan Bestbier – HPLC and colourimetric quanitification of shikimic acid levels in crops after glyphosate treatment. Supervisor: Dr Juan Vorster. Angelique du Preez - Flagellin glycosylation in Pantoea ananatis. Supervisor: Prof. Co-supervisors: Prof.
FABIans were able to witness a partial solar eclipse during their Spring Day Tea celebrations on 1 September.
Prof. One of the major concerns for the macadamia industry is damage caused by the two-spotted stinkbug (Bathycoelia Distincta). Prof. Approximately 350 delegates attended the symposium.