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PhD student

Department

Genetics
Full CV
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Primary Supervisor
Brenda Wingfield

Co Supervisor
Markus Wilken
Mike Wingfield
Magriet van der Nest

I first joined FABI in the second year of my BSc: Genetics degree in 2011 as a mentorship student in the CTHB Mentorship Program. In my first year in this program, I was mentored by a student working towards his PhD in microbiology and worked on the genetic diversity of Citrus tristeza virus from different citrus cultivars. In my second year of this program, I was mentored by a student working towards his PhD in genetics and worked on the mating of Ceratocystis fimbriata.  

After completing my undergraduate degree in 2012, I started my Honours degree in the Genetics department at UP with a research project under the primary supervision of Prof BD Wingfield. I continued working on the mating of C. fimbriata as I had done during my undergrad. I started my MSc: Genetics degree in 2014, also under the supervision of Prof Wingfield. For this project, I turned my focus to the mating of Huntiella moniliformis, a filamentous ascomycete belonging to the same family as C. fimbriata.

I am currently in the second year of my PhD: Genetics degree where I am furthering the work I did during my MSc. I aim to finish this degree in 2018 and continue with a career in science.   

 

My research has been focused on the genes involved in sexual reproduction of a number of fungal pathogens and saprobes. While I focused on a single species of the Ceratocystis genus in my Honours degree, I worked on two species belonging to the related genus, Huntiella, in my Masters degree. For my PhD, I am furthering the work I started in my Master's and describing a new Huntiella species. 

The availability of draft genome assemblies for the species I have worked on has aided in the research I have done on the mating of these species. Mining for the Mating Type genes in these genomes and the subsequent comparison of these genes across different species formed a large part of my Master's degree. As part of my research, we produced a significant amount of RNA-Seq data to complement the genomic data we have. This has helped us identify potentially important pathways involved in the sexual development pathway of these species. 

Species of the Ceratocystidaceae employ a wide range of interesting and unique sexual strategies and thus represent a fantastic group of fungi in which to research mating. Their deviations from the norm allow for comparisons that ultimately lead to a better understanding of sex in fungi in general and the evolution behind this very complicated process. In addition to describing heterothallic and unisexual species, we have recently discovered a homothallic species as well. This has allowed us to compare the genes that underlie different forms of sexual reproduction in this genus. 

 

 


Awards


 

1. Woman in Science: PhD Fellowship (Department of Science & Technology, 2017)

2. Best MSc Student of 2015/16 (FABI, 2016)

3. Mentorship Award (FABI, 2016)

4. Merit Certificate for Academics for MSc: Genetics Degree (University of Pretoria, 2016)

5. Academic Honorary Colours for BSc(Hons): Human Genetics (University of Pretoria, 2014)

 

Scholarships


 

1. Scarce Skills Scholarship for Doctoral Students (National Research Foundation, 2017-2018)

2. Study Abroad Bursary (University of Pretoria, 2017)

3. PhD Student Bursary (University of Pretoria, 2017)

4. Grantholder Linked Bursary for Master’s Students (National Research Foundation, 2016) 


Unpacking the Molecular Mechanism behind Unisexual Reproduction in Huntiella moniliformis 


A.M. Wilson, P.M. Wilken, M.A. van der Nest, M.J. Wingfield & B.D. Wingfield

Life Science Symposium 

Pennsylvania State University 

United States of America

2017

Poster Presentation

 

Unpacking the Molecular Mechanism behind Unisexual Reproduction in Huntiella moniliformis 


A.M. Wilson, P.M. Wilken, M.A. van der Nest, M.J. Wingfield & B.D. Wingfield

Fungal Genetics Conference

California 

United States of America

2017

Oral & Poster Presentations

 

Understanding Unisexual Reproduction in Huntiella moniliformis 


Wilson, A. M., M. A. van der Nest, P. M. Wilken, M. J. Wingfield and B. D. Wingfield 

South African Genetics Society/South African Society of Bioinformatics Congress

Durban 

South Africa

2016

Oral Presentation

 

Unisexual Reproduction in Huntiella moniliformis 


Wilson, A.M., P.M. Wilken, M.A. Van der Nest, M.J. Wingfield and B.D. Wingfield

Fungal Genetics Conference

California 

United States of America

2015

Poster Presentation

 

Characterization of the MAT Locus in the saprobe Huntiella omanensis


Wilson, A.M., P.M. Wilken, M.A. Van der Nest, M.J. Wingfield and B.D. Wingfield

South African Association of Botanists Congress  

Venda

South Africa

2015

Poster Presentation

 

Characterization of the MAT Locus in the saprobe Huntiella omanensis


Wilson, A.M., P.M. Wilken, M.A. Van der Nest, M.J. Wingfield and B.D. Wingfield

South African Society for Plant Pathology

Bloemfontein

South Africa

2015

Poster Presentation

 

 


 

1. Golden Key Honours Society

2. Postgraduate Student Association of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

3. FABI Social Club

4. TuksVillage Residence Management Committee


Andrea (Andi) Wilson: Another FABI award!

The South African Women in Science Awards ceremony and gala dinner - one of South Africa’s premier Science events of the year, was held at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton on 17 August.

FABI represented at 2017 North Gauteng Senior Science Fair

Eight FABIans served on the judging panel of the North Gauteng Senior Science Fair at the University of Pretoria’s LC de Villiers Sports Campus on 18 August.  

Research Visit to Penn State University, Home of the Nittany Lions

FABI PhD student Andi Wilson relates her experiences while on a two month research visit to Department of Plant Pathology at Pennsylvania State University.

Export to RIS
Publication
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
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
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