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

Field trips


FABI celebrates 25 years of excellence

FABI celebrated its 25th anniversary at a symposium hosted at Future Africa on the morning of 17 November.

FABI recognises excellence

FABI recognised excellence by members of the Institute at the recent FABI Awards ceremony.

Prof. Mike Wingfield again included in the Highly Cited 2023

FABI is proud of Professor Mike Wingfield for being included in the Clarivate Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers 2023 for the seventh consecutive year.

EPPI team undertakes the second large-scale field inoculation trial in 2023

The EPPI team completed the second large scale inoculation trial as part of a study that aims to identify DNA markers associated with resistance against Chrysoporthe austroafricana

Prof. Sanushka Naidoo presents her Inaugural Lecture

Prof. Sanushka Naidoo presented her Inaugural Lecture as a full Professor in the University of Pretoria’s Senate Hall on 17 October.

EPPI team performs the biggest impact evaluation from field inoculations of the canker pathogen Chrysoporthe austroafricana on different Eucalyptus genotypes

Members of the EPPI research group travelled to Kwambonabi in the KwaZulu-Natal province to evaluate and harvest one of the biggest in-field inoculations with the pathogen Crysoporthe austroafricana.

FABI opening celebrates 25 years of research excellence

FABI’s official opening, held on 16 January in the University of Pretoria’s Sanlam Auditorium, celebrated the Institute’s 25th anniversary.

EPPI team undertakes a greenhouse inoculation trial

The EPPI team has been undertaking a large-scale greenhouse trial running for a third consecutive year since 2020.

Mike Wingfield included on the Clarivate Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers for the sixth consecutive year

FABI was delighted to hear that Prof. Mike Wingfield has been included on the Clarivate Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers for the sixth consecutive year.

EPPI team performs in-field inoculation of the pitch canker pathogen

Members of the EPPI research group recently travelled to KZN to perform in-field inoculation of Fusarium circinatum on 3296 hybrid pines

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 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.

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.

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.

Export to RIS
Teshome DT, Zharare GE, Ployet R, Naidoo S. (2023) Transcriptional reprogramming during recovery from drought stress in Eucalyptus grandis. Tree Physiology 10.1093/treephys/tpad022
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