Ms Dee Twiddy
Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
I started my journey with FABI in the final year of my undergrad in the CTHB Mentorship Programme. The following year I complete my Honours in Microbiology under the guidance of Dr. Gerda Fourie researching the potential impact the dominant fungal symbiont (Fusarium euwallaceae) of a newly invasive beetle, the Polyphagous Shothole Borer (PSHB), may have on macadamia in South Africa.
I am now a MSc candidate in Microbiology working on husk rot of macadamia. Husk rot in a fungal disease causing soft, dark brown lesions on macadamia nuts. Fungi known to cause husk rot include Diaporthe spp., Colletotrichum spp. from the C. gloeosportioides species complex and recently reported Caloncetria spp..
Yield loss due to premature nut drop caused by the disease as well as its sproadic occurence in orchards are reasons husk rot is considered a disease of importance by the industry. My research aims to understand the identity and epidemiology of the various fungi causing husk rot in South Africa.
Four members of the Macadamia Protection Programme (MPP) in FABI, visited farms in the Mpumalanga province during a three day fieldtrip.
The MadMacs finished off the year with two field trips to the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga Provinces.
The “Book Club” has become a regular annual event held during a selected FABI Monday Morning Meeting towards the end of each year.
The Macadamia Protection Programme (MPP) team attended the annual Macadamias South Africa NPC (SAMAC) grower symposium in the Kruger National Park.
Members of MPP and UQ teams have been taking part in monthly research meeting throughout 2021 using online platforms.
After an 18 month hiatus, FABI celebrated the first publications in an ISI-rated scientific journal of three FABI postgraduate students in the TPCP and CTHB groups
During the week of 5 October, the Macadamia Protection Programme was in Mpumalanga for an on-going flower blight survey.
n Friday 13 August, members of the Macadamia Protection Programme along with other FABIans gathered to say farewell to Dr Arista Fourie.
The Macadamia Protection Programme’s (MPP) ‘Mad-Macs’ team went on another field trip, this time to the KwaZulu-Natal south coast!
On Tuesday 20 April, members of the Macadamia Protection Programme (MPP) in FABI planted approximatively 300 macadamia trees from various different cultivars that are grown commercially by the industry.
The PSHB Research Network in FABI has been at the forefront of research and field extension work, and to this end has created an online resource for use by both the public and academia.
The Macadamia Protection Program (MPP) is back in the field! MPP research group leader Dr Gerda Fourie, joined by MSc candidate Dee Twiddy and PhD candidate Elisa Pal travelled to the Mpumalanga area during the week of 9 February.
On 20 January, FABI had the pleasure of hosting a virtual congress of the South African Society of Plant Pathologists’ (SASPP).
The annual International Macadamia R&D Conference was held in Lincang City, Yunnan, China from 5-9 November. Macadamia Protection Programme research leader Dr Gerda Fourie and FABI postdoctoral Fellow Dr Arista Fourie joined 300 delegates from 12 countries, consisting mostly of senior researchers, institute directors and consultants.
My Journal Articles
|Twiddy D, Fell S, de Beer ZW, Fourie G. (2021) Screening for susceptibility of Macadamia to E. fornicatus and its fungal symbiont Fusarium euwallaceae. Plant Disease 105(4):739-742.