Dr Markus Wilken



Lecturer

Department

Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
Full CV
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Research Profiles

My research specialization in on the molecular biology of plant pathogenic fungi. My research focuses on using genomics and molecular tools to study the basic biology of these species. I focus my studies on pathogens of economic importance in the commercial forest and agricultural sectors. The goal of my work is to develop a better understanding of these fungi in the South African context, while doing research that is of global importance.

Sexual reproduction in the Ceratocystidaceae

At present I am continuing a long-running study on the mating system of species in the Ceratocystidaceae. This work is an extension of my post-doctoral studies and has the long-term aim of unraveling the complex evolutionary history of sexual reproduction in this group. I utilize the genomes of these species to study the mating type locus and pheromone/receptor system that act as primary drivers of sexual reproduction. These genomes provide a useful resource that has underpinned various studies on the Ceratocystidaceae apart from their mating behavior.

The Grain Research Project at FABI

I am also a member of the developing research program on Agricultural crops that is based at FABI. This program aims to provide support for the South African Agricultural sector through world-class research on economically important crops and their associated pests and diseases. My specific focus is on the fungal pathogens of these crops, where I use the genomes to address population level questions for these pathogens. Although there is a wealth of information available for many of these species, little is known about these species in the Southern African context.

News

Fifteen FABI PhDs for the year as Andi Wilson completes her PhD

Andi Wilson has become the 15th FABIan to successfully complete their PhD, thereby closing off a remarkable year for the Institute.

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Publication
Havenga M, Chen S, Wilken PM, Duong TA, Tatham CT, Dreyer LL, Roets F, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Aylward J. (2020) Mating strategy and mating type distribution in six global populations of the Eucalyptus foliar pathogen Teratosphaeria destructans. Fungal Genetics and Biology 137:103350. 10.1016/j.fgb.2020.103350
Wilson AM, Wilken PM, van der Nest MA, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2020) The novel Huntiella omanensis mating gene, MAT1-2-7, is essential for ascomatal maturation. Fungal Genetics & Biology 137:103335. 10.1016/j.fgb.2020.103335
Wilson AM, van der Nest MA, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2019) It’s All in the Genes: The Regulatory Pathways of Sexual Reproduction in Filamentous Ascomycetes. Genes 10(5):330. 10.3390/genes10050330 PDF
van der Nest MA, Wingfield MJ, McTaggart AR, Van Wyk S, De Vos L, Trollip C, Santana QC, Naidoo K, Dong TA, Wilken PM, Chan W-Y, Palmer M, Soal NA, Roodt D, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield BD. (2019) Genomic analysis of the aggressive tree pathogen Ceratocystis albifundus. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2019.02.002 PDF
Sayari M, van der Nest MA, Steenkamp ET, Soal NC, Wilken PM, Wingfield BD. (2019) Distribution and evolution of nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene clusters in the Ceratocystidaceae. Genes 10, 328 10.3390/genes10050328
Wingfield BD, Kolarik M, Menzies JG, Naidoo K, Pochopski O, Shoukouhi P, Santana QC, Seifert KA, Soal NA, Steenkamp ET, Tatham CT, Van der Nest MA, Havenga M, Findlay W, Liu M, Nguyen HDT, Lane FA, Morgan SW, De Vos L, Wilken PM, Doung TA, Aylward J, Coetzee MPA, Dadej K, De Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ. (2018) Nine draft genome sequences of Claviceps purpurea s.lat., including C. arundinis, C. humidiphila, and C. cf. spartinae, pseudomolecules for the pitch canker pathogen Fusarium circinatum, draft genome of Davidsoniella eucalypti, Grosmannia galeiformis, Quambalaria eucalypti, and Teratosphaeria destructans. IMA Fungus 9(2):401-418. 10.5598/imafungus.2018.09.02.10 PDF
Wingfield BD, Bills GF, Dong Y, Huang W, Nel WJ, Swalarsk-Parry BS, Vaghefi N, Wilken PM, An Z, de Beer ZW, De Vos L, Chen L, Duong TA, Gao Y, Hammerbacher A, Kikkert JR, Li Y, Li H, Li K, Li Q, Liu X, Ma X, Naidoo K, Pethybridge SJ, Sun J, Steenkamp ET, van der Nest M, van Wyk S, Wingfield MJ, Xiong C, Yue Q, Zhang X. (2018) IMA Genome-F 9 Draft genome sequence of Annulohypoxylon stygium, Aspergillus mulundensis, Berkeleyomyces basicola (syn. Thielaviopsis basicola), Ceratocystis smalleyi, two Cercospora beticola strains, Coleophoma cylindrospora, Fusarium fracticaudum, Phialophora cf. hyalina, and Morchella septimelata. IMA Fungus 9(1):199-223. 10.5598/imafungus.2018.09.01.13 PDF
Wilson A, Van der Nest M, Wilken P, Wingfield M, Wingfield B. (2018) Pheromone expression reveals putative mechanism of unisexuality in a saprobic ascomycete fungus. PLOS One 13(3):e0192517. 10.1371/journal.pone.0192517 PDF
Wilken PM, Steenkamp ET, Van der Nest MA, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW, Wingfield BD. (2018) Unexpected placement of the MAT1-1-2 gene in the MAT1-2 idiomorph of Thielaviopsis. Fungal Genetics and Biology 32:32-41. 10.1016/j.fgb.2018.01.007
Wingfield BD, Berger DK, Steenkamp ET, Lim H-J, Duong TA, Bluhm BH, De Beer ZW, De Vos L, Fourie G, Naidoo K, Olivier NA, Lin Y, Van der Peer Y, Joubert F, Crampton BG, Swart V, Soal N, Tatham C, Van der Nest MA, Van der Merwe NA, Van Wyk S, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ. (2017) IMA Genome-F 8 Draft genome of Cercospora zeina, Fusarium pininemorale, Hawksworthiomyces lignivorus, Huntiella decipiens and Ophiostoma ips. IMA Fungus 8 (2):385‑396. 10.5598/imafungus.2017.08.02.10 PDF
Wilken PM, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW, Wingfield BD. (2017) Which MAT gene? Pezizomycotina (Ascomycota) mating-type gene nomenclature reconsidered. Fungal Biology Reviews 31:199-211. 10.1016/j.fbr.2017.05.003 PDF
Wingfield BD, Duong TA, Hammerbacher A, van der Nest MA, Wilson A, Chang R, de Beer ZW, Steenkamp ET, Wilken PM, Naidoo K, Wingfield MJ. (2016) IMA Genome-F 7 Draft genome sequences for Ceratocystis fagacearum, C. harringtonii, Grosmannia penicillata, and Huntiella bhutanensis. IMA Fungus 7(2):317-323. 10.5598/imafungus.2016.07.02.11 PDF
Wingfield BD, Ambler JM, Coetzee MPA, De Beer ZW, Duong TA, Joubert F, Hammerbacher A, McTaggart AR, Naidoo K, Nguyen HDT, Ponomareva E, Santana QS, Seifert KA, Steenkamp ET, Trollip C, Van der Nest MA, Visagie CM, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ, Yilmaz N. (2016) IMA Genome-F 6: Draft genome sequences of Armillaria fuscipes, Ceratocystiopsis minuta, Ceratocystis adiposa, Endoconidiophora laricicola, E. polonica and Penicillium freii DAOMC 242723. IMA Fungus 7(1):217-227. 10.5598/imafungus.2016.07.01.11 PDF
van der Nest MA, Wingfield MJ, Wilken PM, Coetzee MPA, Naidoo K, Roodt D, Sauerman E, Godlonton T, Trollip C, McTaggart AR, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield BD. (2015) Saprophytic and pathogenic fungi in the Ceratocystidaceae differ in their ability to metabolize plant-derived sucrose. BMC Evolutionary Biology 15:273. 10.1186/s12862-015-0550-7 PDF
Wingfield BD, Barnes I, De Beer ZW, De Vos L, Duong TA, Kanzi AM, Naidoo K, Nguyen HDT, Santana QC, Sayari M, Seifert KA, Steenkamp ET, Trollip C, Van der Merwe N, Van der Nest MA, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ. (2015) Draft genome sequences of Ceratocystis eucalypticola, Chrysoporthe cubensis, C. deuterocubensis, Davidsoniella virescens, Fusarium temperatum, Graphilbum fragrans, Penicillium nordicum, and Thielaviopsis musarum. IMA Fungus 6(2):493-506. 10.5598/imafungus.2015.06.02.13 PDF
Marincowitz S, Coetzee MPA, Wilken PM, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ. (2015) Phylogenetic placement of Itajahya: An unusual Jacaranda fungal associate. IMA Fungus 6(2):257-262. 10.5598/imafungus.2015.06.02.01 PDF
Wilson AM, Wilken PM, van der Nest MA, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2015) Homothallism: An umbrella term for describing diverse sexual behaviours. IMA Fungus 6(1):207-214. 10.5598/imafungus.2015.06.01.13 PDF
Wilson AM, Godlonton T, van der Nest MA, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2015) Unisexual Reproduction in Huntiella moniliformis. Fungal Genetics and Biology 80:1-9. 10.1016/j.fgb.2015.04.008 PDF
Van der Nest MA, Beirn LA, Crouch JA, Demers JE, De Beer ZW, De Vos L, Gordon TR, Moncalvo JM, Naidoo K, Sanchez-Ramirez S, Roodt D, Santana QC, Slinksi SL, Stata M, Taerum SJ, Wilken PM, Wilson AM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2014) Draft genomes of Amanita jacksonii, Ceratocystis albifundus, Fusarium circinatum, Huntiella omanensis, Leptographium procerum, Rutstroemia sydowiana, and Sclerotinia echinophila. IMA Fungus 5(2):473-486. 10.5598/imafungus.2014.05.02.11 PDF
Van der Nest MA, Bihon W, De Vos L, Naidoo K, Roodt D, Rubagotti E, Slippers B, Steenkamp ET, Wilken PM, Wilson A, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2014) Draft genome sequences of Diplodia sapinea, Ceratocystis manginecans, and Ceratocystis moniliformis. IMA Fungus 5(1):135-140. 10.5598/imafungus.2014.05.01.13 PDF
Wilken PM, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW, Wingfield BD. (2014) DNA loss at the Ceratocystis fimbriata mating locus results in self-sterility. PLoS ONE 9(3):e92180. 10.1371/journal.pone.0092180 PDF
Wilken PM, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW, Wingfield BD. (2013) Draft nuclear genome sequence for the plant pathogen, Ceratocystis fimbriata. IMA Fungus 4:357-358. 10.5598/imafungus.2013.04.02.14 PDF
Simpson MC, Wilken PM, Coetzee MPA, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2013) Analysis of microsatellite markers in the genome of the plant pathogen Ceratocystis fimbriata. Fungal Biology 117(7-8):545-555. 10.1016/j.funbio.2013.06.004 PDF
van der Nest MA, Steenkamp ET, Wilken MP, Stenlid J, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Slippers B. (2013) Mutualism and asexual reproduction influence recognition genes in a fungal symbiont. Fungal Biology 117:439-450. 10.1016/j.funbio.2013.05.001 PDF
Wilken PM, Steenkamp ET, Hall TA, De Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2012) Both mating types in the heterothallic fungus Ophiostoma quercus contain MAT1-1 and MAT1-2 genes. Fungal Biology 116(3):427-437. 10.1016/j.funbio.2012.01.002 PDF
Wingfield BD, Steenkamp ET, Santana QC, Coetzee MPA, Bam S, Barnes I, Beukes CW, Chane W-Y, de Vos L, Fourie G, Friend M, Gordon TR, Herron DA, Holt C, Korf I, Kvas M, Martin SH, Mlonyeni XO, Naidoo K, Phasha MM, Postma A, Reva O, Roos H, Simpson M, Slinski S, Slippers B, Sutherland R, van der Merwe NA, van der Nest MA, Venter SNV, Wilken PM, Yandell M, Zipfel R, Wingfield MJ. (2012) First fungal genome sequence from Africa: a preliminary analysis. South African Journal of Science 108:104-122. 10.4102/sajs.v108i1/2.537 PDF
van der Nest MA, Slippers B, Stenlid J, Wilken PM, Vasaitis R, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2008) Characterization of the systems governing sexual and self-recognition in the white rot homobasidiomycete Amylostereum areolatum. Current Genetics 53(6):323-336. 10.1007/s00294-008-0188-8 PDF