Mr Demissew Teshome

PhD student


Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
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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

My Galeries

My Eucalyptus

Highlights of My Month


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.

FABIan highlights challenges to tree-planting initiatives in Malawi in an opinion piece

The 16 August edition of The Nation, a popular daily newspaper in Malawi, includes an opinion piece written by Rachel Mkandawire, a PhD candidate at FABI.

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).

Seven FABI researchers honoured at the UP 2019 Academic Achievers’ Awards ceremony

The University of Pretoria honoured its best academics on 21 May, including seven researchers from FABI.

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.

New UP Vice Chancellor visits FABI

The University of Pretoria’s recently inaugurated Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Tawana Kupe visited FABI on 1 April, addressing staff and students at the weekly Monday Morning Meeting.

International Day of Forests celebrated at Future Africa and FABI

FABI Director Professor Bernard Slippers and FABI founding Director and current IUFRO President Prof Mike Wingfield were amongst the numerous speakers who addressed the theme “Forests and Education” at a symposium celebrating the International Day of Forests held at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Campus on 18 March.

FABI PhD student speaks about his prize-winning science communication video and tree health matters in interview with VOC FM

FABI PhD candidate Darryl Herron cast the spotlight on tree health matters during an interview with VOC FM, a community radio station based in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, on 14 March.

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.