Ms Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry
Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
|Magriet van der Nest|
|Lieschen De Vos|
I joined FABI in 2014 to study an Honours degree in Microbiology. My honours project focused on the detection of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with different phenotypic traits of two important plant pathogens in the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex, Fusarium circinatum and Fusarium temperatum. For my MSc, I further identified a QTL associated with growth of Fusrium circinatum.
In my PhD I will be sequencing 106 Fusarium circinatum genomes to use for a Genome Wide Association study.
- Tutor: Introduction to Microbiology (MBY 161) in 2014 and 2020 at the Department of Microbiology, University of Pretoria.
- Laboratory demonstrator: Mycology (MBY 261) in 2015-2017 at the Department of Microbiology, University of Pretoria.
- Laboratory demonstrator: Bacteriology (MBY 251) in 2016 at the Department of Microbiology, University of Pretoria
- Tutor: Bacterial Genetics (MBY355) from 2020 - present at the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics, and Microbiology.
- Student mentor at the DST/NRF Centre for Tree Health and Biotechnology Mentorship Programme from 2015-present.
Student Mentorship and Supervision
- B.Sc genetics (2nd year) student Lindokuhle Nkambule in the CTHB mentorship programme (2015).
- B.Sc genetics and biotechnology (3rd year) student Meta Leshabane in the CTHB mentorship programme (2016).
- B.Sc Biochemistry (2nd year) student Sade Magabotha in the CTHB mentorship programme (2017-2018).
- B.Sc Microbiology (3rd year) student Ropafadzai Jawa in the CTHB mentrship programme (2019).
- Intern at FABI Kekgotswe Nakana (2021)
- MSc Microbiology student Vinolia Danki (2021 - present)
- B.Sc (Hons) Genetics student Mancha Mabaso (2017).
- B.Sc (Hons) Genetics student Caitlyn Fourie (2020).
- B.Sc (Hons) Microbiology student Alida van Dijk (2021).
- M.Sc Microbiology student Alida van Dijk (2022)
Swalarsk-Parry BS, L de Vos, BD Wingfield, A Hammabacher and ET Steenkamp (2017) Comparative growth study of Fusarium circinatum and Fusarium temperatum on host-plant derived media. In South African Society of Plant Pathology, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.
Swalarsk-Parry BS, ET Steenkamp, A Hammabacher, BD Wingfield, and L de Vos (2018) Association of a quantitative trait locus with growth of Fusarium circinatum. In International Congress of Plant Pathology, Boston, USA.
Swalarsk-Parry BS, L de Vos, BD Wingfield, A Hammabacher and ET Steenkamp (2018) Characterization of a growth QTL in Fusarium circinatum. In South African Society for Microbiology, Muldersdrift, Gauteng, South Africa.
Swalarsk-Parry BS , van der Nest MA, De Vos L , Santana QC, Wingfield BD, Steenkamp ET(2022) GWAS for identifying genes associated with virulence in F. circinatum. In 31st Fungal Genetics Conference, Pacific Grove, California, USA.
Soal, N.C, E.T. Steenkamp, A. Fourie, L. de Vos, B.S. Swalarsk-Parry, B.D. Wingfield and M.A. van der Nest (2018) Identification of genes associated with growth rate in Ceratocystis albifundus, using Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). In South African Association of Botanists, Pretoria, South Africa.
Soal, N.C, E.T. Steenkamp, A. Fourie, L. de Vos, B.S. Swalarsk-Parry, B.D. Wingfield and M.A. van der Nest (2018) Genome wide association study (GWAS) to identify genes associated with mycelial growth rate in the plant pathogen Ceratocystis albifundus. In South African Society for Microbiology, Muldersdrift, Gauteng, South Africa.
De Vos L, B.S Swalarsk-Parry, M.A van der Nest, D.A Herron, E.T Steenkamp and B.D Wingfield (2019) Genetic investigations into pathogenicity and growth of a South African population of Fusarium circinatum. In 30th Fungal Genetics Conference, Pacific Grove, California, USA.
- B.Sc Microbiology from University of Pretoria (2010 - 2013).
- B.Sc (Hons) Microbiology from Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria (2014). Project title: Detection of quantitative trait loci associated with various phenotypic traits in Fusarium circinatum and Fusarium temperatum. Supervisors: Prof Emma Steenkamp and Dr. Lieschen De Vos.
- MSc in Microbiology from Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria (2015-2017). Dissertation title: Characterization of a growth QTL in Fusarium circinatum. Supervisors: Dr. Lieschen De Vos, Prof Emma Steenkamp, and Prof Brenda Wingfield.
- Ph.D. in Microbiology from Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria (2017- Ongoing). Thesis title: A CRISPR approach to studying genes involved in phenotypic traits of F. circinatum and F. temperatum. Supervisors: Prof Emma Steenkamp, Dr. Lieschen De Vos, and Prof Brenda Wingfield.
Fusarium laboratory workshop – 2016
Agricultural Research Council Mycology workshop - 2015
Advanced phylogenetics Workshop – 2017
Genomics Workshop - 2017
- University of Pretoria Ph.D. Student Bursary (2019)
- University of Pretoria Study Abroad Bursary (2019)
- University of Pretoria Ph.D. Student Bursary (2018)
- National Research Foundation Study Abroad Bursary (2018)
- National Research Foundation Scarce skills Doctoral Scholarship (2017-2020)
- National Research Foundation Scarce skills Masters Scholarship (2016)
- National Research Foundation Honours Innovation Award (2014)
2016: Getting the message to the public (FABI)
2017: Getting the message to the public (FABI)
2017: Mentorship (FABI)
2019: Getting the message to the public (FABI)
- Junior Tukkie Student Society (2012-2013)
- Deputy student project Manager (2013)
- Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender
- HIV/AIDS Awareness and Education (2012)
- HIV/AIDS counsellor at Student Clinic (2013)
- CTHB Mentorship Programme Committee (2015-Present)
- (TAG-C-TV) Take A Girl Child to Varsity (2016-Present)
The CTHB Outreach Team at FABI hosted “Meet the scientists” information sessions for undergraduate students at the University of Pretoria on 26 and 27 February.
Thirteen students who completed eight months of mentorship in the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology(CTHB) received their certificates of completion on 1 November at a small ceremony in FABI.
Two FABI PhD candidates, Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry and Jane Ramaswe recently returned from a three-month exchange visit to Pennsylvania State University. The visit is part of a strategic partnership between the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiologyin Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria.
The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) outreach team from FABI was involved in a ‘Fungi for Future’ initiative which forms part of their citizen science project.
For her precision and dexterity, FABI PhD student Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry was crowned “Pipetting Ninja” at a mini pipetting competition hosted by Inqaba Biotec at FABI on 5 June.
FABI Ph.D. candidates Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry and Khumbuzile Bophela attended the inaugural Black Women in Science (BWIS) gala dinner on 6 April.
Thirteen undergraduate students will get their first taste of life as researchers as mentees in the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology’s undergraduate mentorship programme.
Late in 2018, 14 FABIans banded together for the mammoth task of inoculating and disease assessment of 6,360 Pinus patula seedlings with 159 Fusarium circinatum isolates.
The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) celebrated the end of another successful year of mentoring and outreach at its annual lunch on 29 October.
My Journal Articles
|Swalarsk Parry BS, Steenkamp ET, Van Wyk S, Santana QC, van der Nest MA, Hammerbacher A, Wingfield BD, De Vos L. (2022) Identification and characterization of a QTL for growth of Fusarium circinatum on pine-based medium. Journal of Fungi 8(11):1214.
|Phasha MM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Coetzee MPA, Hallen-Adams H, Fru F, Swalarsk-Parry BS, Yilmaz N, Duong TA, Steenkamp ET. (2021) Ras2 is important for growth and pathogenicity in Fusarium circinatum. 150:103541.
|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.