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MSc student

Department

Microbiology and Plant Pathology
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Primary Supervisor
Wilhelm de Beer

Co Supervisor
Tuan Duong
Mike Wingfield

Both my BSc Honours and MSc projects are on aspects of fungi belonging to the Ophiostomatales. My honours project involved determining the vector associations of Ophiostoma abietinum, which has been isolated from a number of pine-infesting bark beetle species from all over the world in various studies over the past 15 years. We hypothesized that it could perhaps be an associate of mites hyperphoretic on the beetles, rather than of the beetles' themselves. Preliminary results confirmed that the fungus is vectored by mites associated with Orthotomicus erosus in South Africa. I am in the process of preparing the results of this study for publication.

My master project aims to resolve the taxonomy of the Ophiostomatales at the genus level applying sequences of several protein coding genes, as the currently available ribosomal DNA sequences is not sufficient to do so. We shall include as many species as possible and hope to delineate all the major genera in the order.