Ms WenWen Li
Plant and Soil Sciences
I am currently enrolled for my PhD degree in Plant Pathology under the supervision of Dr. Tuan Duong, Dr. FeiFei Liu, Prof. Mike Wingfield and Prof. ShuaiFei Chen in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria. My PhD project focuses on Calonectria spp. which are the causal agents of Calonectria leaf blight on Eucalyptus. In my PhD research, I specifically focus on the species diversity and pathogenicity of Calonectria associated with Eucalyptus in Southern China. In addition, I will also use genome and SSR markers to study the population biology of Ca. pseudoreteaudii.
In recent years, plantations of Eucalyptus have been under repaid expansion in China. At the same time, these Eucalyptus plantations have also been confronted by various pathogens of which Calonectria being one of the most serious. From 2018, I have been collecting over 600 Callonectria isolates from diseased leaves and soils in the Eucalyptus plantations in GuangDong Province of southern China. During my PhD, I will identify these isolates and clarify their distribution. The outcomes of my PhD research will contribute to the current understanding of species diversity, population biology and pathology of Calonectria on Eucalytptus in China and this will help in development of effective management strategies for controlling Eucalyptus leaf blight caused by Calonectria species.