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PhD student

Department

Genetics
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Primary Supervisor
Martin Coetzee

Co Supervisor
Mike Wingfield
Emma Steenkamp
Brenda Wingfield

Pitch canker is a devastating disease of pines that is affecting pine plantations and forests around the world. This disease is caused by the ascoymycete fungus Fusarium circinatum, a member of the Gibberella fujikuroi species complex. The disease is characterised by the mass exudation of pitch from infection sites, these sites are often cankers that are resin soaked. Other important distinguishing symptoms include branch tip die back as well as needle necrosis. In South Africa, Fusarium circinatum has mainly been a problem in the pine seedling nurseries, where young pine seedlings infected with the fungus suffer from root and root collar disease. Recently, outbreaks of the pitch canker disease has been observed in mature pine plantations within the Eastern and Western Cape regions of South Africa.

I am currently involved in the Fusarium circinatum genome project. Since the advent of next generation sequencing technologies, the cost of sequencing a genome has reduced substantially. In 2009 the genome of Fusarium circinatum was sequenced using Roche / 454 Life Sciences pyrosequencing technology. My study is looking at the unique elements within the genome, namely the unique genes as well as the areas in the genome that have an unknown origin. 

 

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Publication
Fru FF, Emma Steenkamp, Michael J. Wingfield, Santana QC , Roux J. (2017) Unique clones of the pitch canker fungus, Fusarium circinatum, associated with a new disease outbreak in South Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology 148(1):97-107. 10.1007/s10658-016-1073-9
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
Santana QC, Coetzee MPA, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Steenkamp ET. (2016) Nursery linked plantation‐outbreaks and evidence for multiple introductions of the pitch canker pathogen Fusarium circinatum into South Africa. Plant Pathology 65:357–368. 10.1111/ppa.12437
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
Wingfield BD, Ades PK, Al-Naemi FA, Beirn LA, Bihon W, Crouch JA, De Beer ZW, De Vos L, Duong TA, Fields CJ, Fourie G, Kanzi AM, Malapi-Wight M, Pethybridge SJ, Radwan O, Rendon G, Slippers B, Santana QC, Steenkamp ET, Taylor PWJ, Vaghefi N, Van der Merwe NA, Veltri D, Wingfield MJ. (2015) IMA Genome-F 4. Draft genome sequences of Chrysoporthe austroafricana, Diplodia scrobiculata, Fusarium nygamai, Leptographium lundbergii, Limonomyces culmigenus, Stagonosporopsis tanaceti, and Thielaviopsis punctulata. IMA Fungus 6(1):233-248. 10.5598/imafungus.2015.06.01.15 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
De Vos L, Steenkamp ET, Martin SH, Santana QC, Fourie G, Van der Merwe NA, Wingfield MJ, Wingfied BD. (2014) Genome-wide macrosynteny among Fusarium species in the Gibberella fujikuroi complex revealed by amplified fragment length polymorphisms. PLoS ONE 9(12):e114682. 10.1371/journal.pone.0114682 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
Santana QC, Coetzee MPA, Steenkamp ET, Mlonyeni OX, Hammond GNA, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2009) Microsatellite discovery by deep sequencing of enriched genomic libraries. BioTechniques 46:217-223. 10.2144/000113085 PDF