Ms Katrin Fitza

PhD student


Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
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Research Profiles

Primary Supervisor
Bernard Slippers

Co Supervisor
Jeff Garnas

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I am doing my PhD at the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) under the supervision of Prof. Bernard Slippers. My PhD project focuses on the diversity and specificity of the Sirex - Deladenus - Amylostereum complex. Sirex noctilio being a great threat to the pine forestry industry worldwide, makes this project a very important one to combat the pest using the biocontrol agent D. siricidicola. The nematode native range includes North America Europe and Asia. Through years of human breeding and interbreeding, a highly efficient, but also highly inbred line of the nematode (the Kamona strain) has been established throughout Southern Hemisphere plantations. It has become evident that this lack of diversity could be affecting the efficiency of the biological control system. Therefore interest lies in characterizing the global native diversity of D. siricidicola and its potential to be used to improve biological control of S. noctilio.

IUFRO 24th World Congress (05-11 October 2014)

Poster: ” Diversity of the parasitic nematode Deladenus siricidicola and its relevance as a biological control agent”

IUFRO Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania (24-27 October 2016)

Poster: ” Amylostereum association with Japanese siricids”

TPCP-CTHB meeting Pretoria (15-17 May 2017)

Talk: ”Diversity in Sirex Biological Control: The power of international collaborations”

ESSA-ZSSA combined congress (3-7 July 2017)

Talk: “Genetic diversity of Deladenus siricidicola, the biological control agent of the woodwasp Sirex noctilio”

TPCP-CTHB meeting Pretoria (14-16 May 2018)

Talk: ”Sirex research at FABI”

SIP conference (12-16 August 2018)

Talk: ”Genetic diversity of global collections of Deladenus siricidicola”

FABI award for mentorship 2016

The Society for Invertebrate Pathology Symposium Speaker Travel Award 2018


FABI's Writing Club going strong

It goes without saying that publishing scientific papers is crucial for a successful science career. Another important part of the writing and publishing process is reviewing and editing. FABI PhD candidate, Katrin Fitza, started a “Writing Club” in 2016 to support this process, and to learn about reviewing and editing at the same time.

Export to RIS
Fitza KNE, Garnas JR, Lombardero MJ, Ayres MP, Krivak-Tetley FE, Ahumada R, Hurley BP, Wingfield MJ, Slippers B. (2019) The global diversity of Deladenus siricidicola in native and non-native populations. Biological Control 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2019.01.014
Fitza KNE, Tabata M, Kanzaki N, Kimura K, Garnas J, Slippers B. (2016) Host specificity and diversity of Amylostereum associated with Japanese siricids. Fungal Ecology 24(A):76-81. 10.1016/j.funeco.2016.08.005
Kanzaki N, Tanaka SE, Fitza KNE, Kosaka H, Slippers B, Kimura K, Tsuchiya S, Tabata M. (2016) Deladenus nitobei n. sp. (Tylenchomorpha: Allantonematidae) isolated from Sirex nitobei (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) from Aomori, Japan, a new member of the siricidicola superspecies. Nematology 18(10):1199-1217. 10.1163/15685411-00003025
Lombardero MJ, Ayres MP, Krivak-Tetley FE, Fitza KNE. (2016) Population biology of the European woodwasp, Sirex noctilio, in Galicia, Spain. Bulletin of Entomological Research 106(5):569-580. 10.1017/S0007485316000043
Fitza K, Payn KG, Steenkamp ET, Myburg AA, Naidoo S. (2013) Chitosan application improves resistance to Fusarium circinatum in Pinus patula. South African Journal of Botany 85:70-78.
Fitza KNE, Steenkamp E, Payn K, Naidoo S. (2011) Induced resistance and associated defence gene responses in Pinus patula. BMC Proceedings 5:82. 10.1186/1753-6561-5-S7-P82