Ms Stephanie van Wyk



PhD student

Department

Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
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Primary Supervisor
Emma Steenkamp

Co Supervisor
Brenda Wingfield
Lieschen De Vos
Lieschen De Vos

My primary field of study focuses on the microbiology and genetics of agricultural important pathogens. My current research objective is to understand the genomic and molecular mechanisms driving speciation and complex phenotypic traits between closely related organisms.

Aspects of my research included using genome sequencing and bioinformatics analyses to study global trends in plant pathogens. My research focus lies in determining the exact genetic and genomic determinates driving speciation and evolution of plant pathogenic fungi. My current project is concerned at elucidating patterns of genome defence mechanisms on the pathogenic lineage known as the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex. These fungi are pathogens of staple foods such as maize, corn, and rice and also threaten other economically important South African industries relying on pine and mango trees. By gaining a better understanding of the genetic and biological make up of these deadly fungi will allow for the development of sustainable eradication strategies.

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Publication
Van Wyk S, Wingfield BD, De Vos L, Santana QC, Van der Merwe N, Steenkamp ET. (2018) Multiple independent origins for a subtelomeric locus associated with growth rate in Fusarium circinatum. IMA Fungus 9(1):27-36. 10.5598/imafungus.2018.09.01.03 PDF
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