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

Makwela MC, Hammerbacher A, Coetzee MPA, Wingfield BD, van Ede G, Bose T. (2022) Fungal diversity associated with the mycorrhizosphere soil of Brachycorythis conica subsp. transvaalensis, a critically endangered and endemic terrestrial orchid from South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 00:1-8. 10.1016/j.sajb.2022.01.019
Guignard Q, Allison J, Slippers B. (2022) The evolution of insect visual opsin genes with specific consideration of the influence of ocelli and life history traits. 22(2) 10.1186/s12862-022-01960-8
Avontuur JR, Palmer M, Beukes CW, Wai YC, Tasiya T, van Zyl E, Coetzee MPA, Stepkowski T, Venter SN, Steenkamp ET. (2022) Bradyrhizobium altum sp. nov., Bradyrhizobium oropedii sp. nov. and Bradyrhizobium acaciae sp. nov. from South Africa show locally restricted and pantropical nodA phylogeographic patterns. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 167 10.1016/j.ympev.2021.107338 PDF
Crous PW, Osieck ER;J, Shivas RG;Z, Bañares A;B, Burgess TI, Cabero J;C, Ferreira RJ;F, Ivanova DD;I, Lebeuf R;L, McTaggart AR, Mehrabi-Koushki M;M, Nel WJ, Nguyen TH;N, Reul M;R, Sato T;S, Tonegawa C;T, Visagie CM, C.M.; Vizzini A;V. (2022) Fungal Planet description sheets: 1284-1382. Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi 47(6):1284-1382. 10.3767/persoonia.2021.47.06
Guignard Q, Allison JD, Slippers B. (2022) The evolution of insect visual opsin genes with specific consideration of the influence of ocelli and life history traits. 22:2. 10.1186/s12862-022-01960-8