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PhD student

Department

Microbiology and Plant Pathology
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Primary Supervisor
Emma Steenkamp

Co Supervisor
Brenda Wingfield

Fusarium circinatum is the causal agent of pitch canker, which is an important fungal disease that affects species of pine in plantations and natural forests. Gene gains and losses amongst related Fusarium species have been shown to be key drivers of Fusarium genome differentiation and evolution. Genomic mutations resulting in gains and losses contribute to the formation of species-specific gene regions and are further implicated in adaptation. Even though the Fusarium genus represents a model group of fungal organisms, fundamental traits such as growth has not yet been fully characterized from a molecular or genomic perspective.  Therefore, the focus of my research efforts are to investigate the effect of gene gains and losses within the genome of Fusarium circinatum. Currently I am completing my Master’s degree in Microbiology.  Even though I have only just started my academic research career I would like to significantly contribute to the body of scientific knowledge.

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Publication
Wingfield BD, Joubert F, Crampton BG, Swart V, Soal N, Tatham C, Van der Nest MA, Van der Merwe N, Van Wyk S, Wilken PM, Van der Peer Y, Lin Y-C, Olivier N, Berger DK, Steenkamp ET, Lim H-J, Duong TA, Bluhm BH, De Beer ZW, De Vos L, Fourie G, Naidoo K, Wingfield MJ. (2017) 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