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MSc student

Department

FABI
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Research Profiles

My Files

Primary Supervisor
Wilhelm de Beer

Co Supervisor
Mike Wingfield
Tuan Duong
Almuth Hammerbacher
Brenda Wingfield

I completed my undergraduate BSc. Microbiology degree in 2014 at the University of Pretoria. I then continued at the University of Pretoria and completed my BSc. (Hons) Microbiology degree in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Wilhelm de Beer and Dr. Tuan Duong at FABI. The work I was doing during my honours project focussed on bettering our understanding of seemingly fungicolous Ophiostomatalean species. During this work we isolated single cultures from Ophiostoma-like fruiting bodies occurring on aged Termitomyces combs, cultivated by fungus-growing termites. After phylogenetic analysis was performed on these isolates, we found that they likely represent new Ophiostoma species that we are currently in the process of describing for publication.

 

In 2016, I started my MSc. Microbiology degree still at FABI under the primary supervision of Prof. Wilhelm de Beer along with a co-supervisory panel consisting of Dr. Tuan Duong, Prof. Mike Wingfield, Prof. Brenda Wingfield, and Dr. Almuth Hammerbacher. The focus of my MSc project is on the plant pathogen Thielaviopsis basicola (Microascales:Ceratocystidaceae). This fungus causes the disease commonly known as black root rot on many plant species and has posed serious problems to some agricultural industries. The largest part of my research is currently focussed on the taxonomy and phylogenetics of the species, but it also includes aspects such as mating behaviour, pathogenicity and population biology. 

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Publication
Nel WJ, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW. (2017) A new genus and species for the globally important, multi-host root pathogen Thielaviopsis basicola. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.12803