Mr Demissew Teshome

PhD student


Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
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Research Profiles

Primary Supervisor
Sanushka Naidoo

Co Supervisor
Godfrey Zharare

My Links

Plants are the main sources of almost all the basic needs of humans and play a pivotal role in sustaining the global ecological balance. Humans have been manipulating plants since the beginning of settled life by improving their yield potential, different quality traits and resistance to environmental stresses.

I completed my MSc in Plant Breeding at Haramaya University in Ethiopia where I evaluated the genetic improvement in grain yield potential and associated traits of soybean. I joined FABI in 2018 to continue my PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. Sanushka Naidoo. I am working on the physiological, biochemical and molecular responses of trees to biotic and abiotic stress interactions using the Eucalyptus grandis-Chrysoporthe austroafricana pathosystem as a model. This will contribute for future genetic improvements in the resistance of trees to such stresses.

Crop Science Society of Ethiopia

Plant Protection Society of Ethiopia

Physiology Society of Southern Africa

Environmental and Ecological Plant Physiology section of the American Society of Plant Biologists


Teshome DT, Zharare GE and Naidoo S (2020) Physiological responses of Eucalyptus grandis to drought stress and re-watering under Chrysoporthe austroafricana infection. Plant Biology Worldwide summit 27-31 July 2020, DOI 10.46678/PB.20.1052990 (ePoster)

My Galeries

My Eucalyptus

Highlights of My Month


US collaborators visit FABI to plan a joint research project

Long-time FABI research collaborator and extraordinary staff member of the Institute, Prof. Francois Roets from Stellenbosch University visited FABI on 11 February to meet various colleagues and to discuss numerous collaborative projects.

Prof. Wilhelm de Beer receives the SAIF Distinguished Forestry Award

Congratulations to Prof. Wilhelm de Beer who was awarded this year’s Distinguished Forestry Award by the Southern African Institute of Forestry (SAIF).

NSTF video interview with Mike Wingfield

A video interview with FABI founding Director, Professor Mike Wingfield has been published online on the YouTube channel of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF). Click here to watch the full video

FABIans’ living heritage comes to life in “Picking the Fruit of the Heritage Tree”

From the mystical to the culinary, FABIans went on a sensory trip down memory lane and around the world in celebration of their living heritage as South Africa marked National Heritage Day on 24 September.

A different way of communicating our research

Early in 2020, Dr Andi Wilson and her PhD supervisors published a paper in the journal Fungal Genetics and Biology that detailed the knockout of a novel mating gene in Huntiella omanensis using the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system. The video represents a new way of communicating research - particularly novel techniques and protocols that are not always fully described in research papers. Excitingly, the video produced for this project is the first JoVE video to have been shot in Africa.

FABI advances plant health research in Africa with the launch of two satellite laboratories

FABI launched the Remote Sensing of Plant Health satellite laboratory with the University of Ghent in Belgium and the Artificial Intelligence in Farming satellite laboratory with Université de Québec à Montréal in Canada on 7 September.

FABI launches its multi-disciplinary Grain Research Programme

FABI launched its multidisciplinary Grain Research Programme (GRP) during an online event on 21 August.

Mike Wingfield wins NSTF award

FABI congratulates Prof. Mike Wingfield on winning the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Annual Theme Award: Plant Health.

The first JOVE video shoot in Africa

Four FABIans (Vinolia Danki, Dr Tuan Duong, Dr Andi Wilson and Prof. Andi and Brenda were joined in the making of the video by Tuan and Vinolia.

FABIans uphold SPOOF tradition with an historic virtual meeting

For the first time in its 23-year history, FABI hosted a virtual Society for the Presentation of Outrageous Findings (SPOOF) event on 17 July. FABIans submitted nine pre-recorded videos, which in the spirit of the time, reflected the lighter moments of a nation under lockdown. The Gene Jockeys took the prize for the Best Abstract (with the subliminal message “Vote for us. FABI Director Prof.

The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme: 31 years of serving the forestry industry

The situation the world’s population currently finds itself in with the global-spread of the COVID-19 virus – just one invisible pathogen - bears direct parallels to the research work that has been done in the TPCP over the past 31 years in combatting plantation tree pests and diseases.

FABIans talk science and earn two places in FameLab SA

Two FABIans have each earned a spot in the FameLab SA contest and they stand a chance to represent South Africa in the FameLab International finals in the United Kingdom.

FABI flag flies high at the XXV IUFRO World Congress 2019

FABI had a significant and visible presence at the recently concluded XXV IUFRO World Congress 2019 held in the Brazilian city of Curitiba from 29 September to 5 October.

FABI flying high at the annual NRF Awards Ceremony

FABI researchers featured very prominently at the annual awards ceremony of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa held at the Lord Charles Hotel (Somerset West) on Thursday 12 September.

IUFRO President meets with international forestry students in Estonia

FABI Professor and IUFRO President Mike Wingfield participated in the first day of the two-week long International Forestry Student’s Symposium (IFSS) organised annually by the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA).

FABIans attend the 18th Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (MPMI)

The biennial Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (MPMI), hosted by the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions took place from 14-18 July in Glasgow, Scotland.

Zander Myburg wins prestigious Forest Biotechnologist of the Year Award

Professor Zander Myburg, research leader of the Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) Research Group in FABI was awarded the prestigious Biotechnologist of the Year Award by the Institute of Forest Biosciences (IFB).

Prof. Mike Wingfield shares insights on running a successful tree health programme

At this year's Annual TPCP meetings, Prof. Mike Wingfield shared seven attributes he considered central to the success of the 30-year-old programme.

FABIans strengthening collaboration between France and South Africa

The French Embassy organised a meeting of French academics working in South Africa on 8 February. This meeting aimed to connect French researchers from various fields and promote the expertise and innovation between the two countries.

Export to RIS
Teshome DT, Zharare GE, Naidoo S. (2020) The threat of the combined effect of biotic and abiotic stress factors in forestry under a changing climate. Frontiers in Plant Science 10.3389/fpls.2020.601009 PDF