Fungi play important roles in many aspects of human life, such as acting as decomposers in the carbon cycle, used to produce food and beverages, while many species produce useful pharmaceuticals or enzymes. For all of these benefits, fungi can cause serious problems for humans, animals and plants. One of the most important of these is the production of various mycotoxins in food and feed commodities that when consumed above threshold levels cause serious health problems in both humans and animals. Mycotoxins affect producers, suppliers, retailers and consumers, and places food security and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2) of no hunger by 2030 at great risk. Our research is focused to better understand the fungal communities that produce mycotoxins in agricultural crops, food and animal feed. Emphasis is placed on the diversity and taxonomy of genera such as Alternaria, Aspergillus, Fusarium, Penicillium and Talaromyces, but many others are also studied. During this process we isolate and identify fungi using modern taxonomic approaches, publish and release newly generated DNA reference sequences, while building national biodiversity resources by depositing species to national and international fungal culture collections. Our group also aim to develop unified rapid monitoring methods to identify important mycotoxigenic species along the value chain. Ultimately, our goal is to secure food and feed from farm to fork for future generations.

Contact us

Contact Prof. Cobus Visagie
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Contact Dr. Neriman Yilmaz Visagie
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Telephone +27 12 420 5036

 

New Publications

O'Donnel K, Al-Hatmi AMS, Aoki T, Brankovics B, Cano-Lira JF, Coleman JJ, de Hoog GS, di Pietro A, Frandsen RJN, Geiser DM, Gibas CFC, Guarro J, Kim HS, Kistler HC, Laraba I, Leslie JF, Lopez-Berges MS, Lysøe E, Meis JF, Monod MM, Proctor RH, Rep M, Ruiz-Roldan C, Šišić A, Stajich JE, Steenkamp ET, Sumerall BA, van der Lee TAJ, van Diepeningen AD, Verweij PE, Waalwijk C, Ward TJ, Wickes BL, Wiederhold NP, Wingfield MJ, Zhang N, Zhang SX. (2020) No to Neocosmospora: Phylogenomic and Practical Reasons for Continued Inclusion of the Fusarium solani Species Complex in the Genus Fusarium. mSphere 5(5) 10.1128/mSphere.00810-20.
Dittrich-Schröder G, Hurley BP, Wingfield MJ, Nahrung HF, Slippers B. (2020) Invasive gall-forming wasps that threaten non-native plantation-grown Eucalyptus: diversity and invasion patterns. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12402
Nel WJ, De Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ, Duong TA. (2020) The granulate ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae), and its fungal symbiont found in South Africa. Zootaxa 4838(3):427-435. 10.11646/zootaxa.4838.3.7
Mbenoun M, Wingfield MJ, Misse AC, Roux J. (2020) Selective feeding behaviors illuminate patterns of sap beetle associations with ophiostomatoid fungi. Symbiosis 10.1007/s13199-020-00705-9
Procter M, Nel WJ, Marincowitz S, Crous PW, Wingfield MJ. (2020) A new species of Raffaelea from beetle-infested Leucaena leucocephala. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 6:305-314. 10.3114/fuse.2020.06.16