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

Lynn KMT, Wingfield MJ, Durán A, Oliveira LSS, de Beer ZW, Barnes I. (2021) Novel Fusarium mutualists of two Euwallacea species infesting Acacia crassicarpa in Indonesia. Mycologia 10.1080/00275514.2021.1875708 PDF
Nel WJ, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW, Duong TA. (2021) Ophiostomatalean fungi associated with wood boring beetles in South Africa including two new species. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 10.1007/s10482-021-01548-0
van der Nest MA, Chávez R, De Vos L, Duong TA, Gil-Durán C, Ferreira MA, Lane FA, Levicán G, Santana QC, Steenkamp ET, Suzuki H, Tello M, Rakoma JR, Vaca I, Valdés N, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2021) Draft genome sequences of Penicillium roqueforti, Fusarium sororula, Chrysoporthe puriensis, and Chalaropsis populi. IMA Fungus 12:5. 10.1186/s43008-021-00055-1 PDF
Phasha MM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Coetzee MPA, Hallen-Adams H, Fru F, Swalarsk-Parry BS, Yilmaz N, Duong TA, Steenkamp ET. (2021) Ras2 is important for growth and pathogenicity in Fusarium circinatum. 150:103541. 10.1016/j.fgb.2021.103541
Migliorini D, Messal M, Santini A, Ramos AP, Talhinhas P, Wingfield MJ, Burgess T. (2021) Metabarcoding reveals southern hemisphere fungal endophytes within wood of cultivated Proteaceae in Portugal. European Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s10658-021-02233-8
Balocchi F, Wingfield MJ, Ahumada R, Barnes I. (2021) Pewenomyces kutranfy gen nov. et sp. nov. causal agent of an important canker disease on Araucaria araucana in Chile. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13353
van Wyk S, Wingfield B, De Vos L, van der Merwe A, Steenkamp E. (2021) Genome-Wide Analyses of Repeat-Induced Point Mutations in the Ascomycota. Frontiers in Microbiology 11(Article 622368):1-17. 10.3389/fmicb.2020.622368 PDF
Nsibo DL, Barnes I, Omondi DO, Dida MM, Berger DK. (2021) Population genetic structure and migration patterns of the maize pathogenic fungus, Cercospora zeina in East and Southern Africa. Fungal Genetics and Biology (103527) 10.1016/j.fgb.2021.103527
Pham NQ, Marincowitz S, Solís M, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Barnes I, Slippers B, Muro Abad JI, Durán A, Wingfield MJ. (2021) Eucalyptus scab and shoot malformation: A new and serious foliar disease of Eucalyptus caused by Elsinoe necatrix sp. nov.. Plant Pathology 10.1111/ppa.13348 PDF
Fraser S, McTaggart AR, Roux J, Nel J, Potgieter J, Shuey L, Somchat C, Wingfield MJ. (2021) The life cycle and field epidemiology of Uromycladium acaciae (Pucciniales) on Acacia mearnsii in South Africa. Annals of Applied Biology 10.1111/aab.12677
Wilson AM, Gabriel R, Singer SW, Schuerg T, Wilken PM, van der Nest MA, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2021) Doing it alone: Unisexual reproduction in filamentous ascomycete fungi. Fungal Biology Reviews 35:1-13. 10.1016/j.fbr.2020.12.003
Krämer D, Lane FA, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield BD, Wilken PM. (2021) Unidirectional mating-type switching confers self-fertility to Thielaviopsis cerberus, the only homothallic species in the genus. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2020.12.007
Havenga M, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Marincowitz S, Dreyer LL, Roets F, Japarudin Y, Aylward J. (2021) Genetic recombination in Teratosphaeria destructans causing a new disease outbreak in Malaysia. Forest Pathology :e12683. 10.1111/efp.12683 PDF
Guignard Q, Bouwer M, Slippers B, Allison J. (2020) Biology of a putative male aggregation-sex pheromone in Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae). 15(12):e0244943. 10.1371/journal.pone.0244943 PDF
Roux J, Nkuekan GK, Marincowitz S, van der Merwe NA, Uchida J, Wingfield MJ, Chen SF. (2020) Chryphonectriaceae associated with rust-infected Syzigium jambos in Hawaii.. MycoKeys 76:49-79. 10.3897/mycokeys.76.58406
Zamora-Ballesteros C, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Martín-García J, Diez JJ. (2020) Residual effects caused by a past mycovirus infection in Fusarium circinatum. Forests 12(11) 10.3390/f12010011
Coetzee MPA, Santana QC, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ. (2020) Fungal genomes enhance our understanding of the pathogens affecting trees cultivated in Southern Hemisphere plantations. Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science 82(3) 10.2989/20702620.2020.1819153
Herron DA, Wingfield MJ, Fru F, Wingfield BD, Steenkamp ET. (2020) Grasses as a refuge for Fusarium circinatum L. – evidence from South Africa. Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science 82(3):253-262. 10.2989/20702620.2020.1813649 PDF
Bush SJ, Slippers B, Hurley BP. (2020) Eucalypt susceptibility towards the invasive Glycaspis brimblecombei Moore (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae) in South Africa. Southern Forests 82:243-252. 10.2989/20702620.2020.1824556
Makunde PT, Slippers B, Burckhardt D, de Queiroz DL, Lawson SA, Hurley BP. (2020) Current and potential threat of psyllids (Hemiptera: Psylloidea) on eucalypts. Southern Forests 82:233-242. 10.2989/20702620.2020.1813650
Krivak-Tetley FE, Lantschner MV, Lombardero MJ, Garnas JR, Hurley BP, Villacide JM, Slippers B, Corley J, Liebhold AM, Ayers MP. (2020) Aggressive tree killer or natural thinning agent? Assessing the impacts of a globally important forest insect. Forest Ecology and Management 10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118728
Paap T, Wingfield MJ, de Beer ZW, Roets F. (2020) Lessons from a major pest invasion: The polyphagous shot hole borer in South Africa. South African Journal of Science 116(11/12) 10.17159/sajs.2020/8757
Slippers B. (2020) The Plant Disease Pyramid: The relevance of the original vision of plant pathology in 2020. South Africa Journal of Science 116(11/12) 10.17159/sajs.2020/9011
Wingfield MJ, Hurley BP, Wingfield BD, Slippers B. (2020) Tree health in South Africa: Retrospect and prospect. South Africa Journal of Science 116(11/12) 10.17159/sajs.2020/8038
Soewarto J, Somchit C, du Plessis E, Barnes I, Granados GM, Wingfield MJ, Shuey L, Bartlett M, Fraser S, Scott P, Miller E, Waipara N, Sutherland R, Ganley B. (2020) Susceptibility of native New Zealand Myrtaceae to the South African strain of Austropuccinia psidii: A biosecurity threat. Plant Pathology :1-9. 10.1111/ppa.13321
Oates C, Denby K, Myburg A, Slippers B, Naidoo S. (2020) Insect egg‐induced physiological changes and transcriptional reprogramming leading to gall formation. Plant, Cell & Environment 10.1111/pce.13930
Slippers B, Hurley BP, Allison JD. (2020) Harnessing the potential of Precision Pest Management in plantation forests. Southern Forests 10.2989/20702620.2020.1813651
Noeth KP, Verleur PM, Bouwer MC, Crous JW, Roux J, Hurley BP, Slippers B. (2020) Mass trapping of Coryphodema tristis (Lepidoptera: Cossidae) using a sex pheromone in Eucalyptus nitens compartments in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Southern Forests 10.2989/20702620.2020.1813648
Geiser DM, Al-Hatmi A, Aoki T, Arie T, Balmas V, Barnes I, Bergstrom GC, Bhattacharyya MKK, Blomquist CL, Bowden R, Brankovics B, Brown DW, Burgess LW, Bushley K, Busman M, Cano-Lira JF, Carrillo JD, Chang HX, Chen CY, Chen W, Chilvers MI, Chulze SN, Coleman JJ, Cuomo CA, de Beer ZW, de Hoog GS, Del Castillo-Múnera J, Del Ponte E, Diéguez-Uribeondo J, Di Pietro A, Edel-Hermann V, Elmer WH, Epstein L, Eskalen A, Esposto MC, Everts KL, Fernández-Pavía SP, da Silva GF, Foroud NA, Fourie G, Frandsen RJN, Freeman S, Freitag M, Frenkel O, Fuller KK, Gagkaeva T, Gardiner DM, Glenn AE, Gold S, Gordon T, Gregory NF, Gryzenhout M, Guarro J, Gugino B, Gutiérrez S, Hammond-Kosack K, Harris LJ, Homa M, Hong CF, Hornok L, Huang JW, Ilkit M, Jacobs A, Jacobs K, Jiang C, Jimenez-Gasco MDM, Kang S, Kasson MT, Kazan K, Kennell JC, Kim H, Kistler HC, Kuldau GA, Kulik T, Kurzai O, Laraba I, Laurence MH, Lee TY, Lee YW, Lee YH, Leslie JF, Liew ECY, Lofton LW, Logrieco A, Sánchez López-Berges M, Luque AG, Lysøe E, Ma LJ, Marra RE, Martin FN, May SR, McCormick S, McGee CT, Meis JF, Migheli Q, Mohamed Nor NMI, Monod M, Moretti A, Mostert D, Mulé G, Munaut F, Munkvold GP, Nicholson P, Nucci M, O'Donnell K, Pasquali M, Pfenning LH, Prigitano A, Proctor R, Ranque S, Rehner S, Rep M, Rodríguez-Alvarado G, Rose LJ, Roth MG, Ruiz-Roldán C, Saleh AA, Salleh B, Sang H, Scandiani M, Scauflaire J, Schmale D 3, Short DP, Šišić A, Smith J, Smyth CW, Son H, Spahr E, Stajich JE, Steenkamp E, Steinberg C, Subramaniam R, Suga H, Summerell BA, Susca A, Swett CL, Toomajian C, Torres-Cruz TJ, Tortorano AM, Urban M, Vaillancourt LJ, Vallad GE, van der Lee T, Vanderpool D, van Diepeningen AD, Vaughan M, Venter E, Vermeulen M, Verweij PE, Viljoen A, Waalwijk C, Wallace EC, Walther G, Wang J, Ward T, Wickes B, Wiederhold NP, Wingfield MJ, Wood AKM, Xu JR, Yang XB, Yli-Matilla T, Yun SH, Zakaria L, Zhang H, Zhang N, Zhang S, Zhang X. (2020) Phylogenomic analysis of a 55.1 kb 19-gene dataset resolves a monophyletic Fusarium that includes the Fusarium solani Species Complex. Phytopathology 10.1094/PHYTO-08-20-0330-LE
Li JQ, Barnes I, Liu FF, Wingfield MJ, Chen SF. (2020) Global genetic diversity and mating type distribution of Calonectria pauciramosa: an important wide host-range plant pathogen.. Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-05-20-1050-RE
Motaung TE, Peremore C, Wingfield BD, Steenkamp ET. (2020) Plant-associated fungal biofilms – knowns and unknowns. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 10.1093/femsec/fiaa224
Pal E, Hurley BP, Slippers B, Fourie G. (2020) Progress towards characterisation of pheromones of Bathycoelia distincta. SAMAC Journal PDF
Smith A, Hurley BP, Slippers B, Fourie G. (2020) Life stage characterisation of Thaumatotibia batrachopa on an artificial diet. SAMAC Journal PDF
Oliveira MES, van der Merwe NA, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD, Soares TPF, Kanzi AM, Ferreira MA. (2020) Chrysoporthe puriensis sp. nov. from Tibouchina spp. in Brazil: an emerging threat to Eucalyptus. Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-020-00745-1
Mavima L, Beukes CW, Palmer M, De Meyer SE, James EK, Maluk M, Gross E, dos Reis Junior FB, Avontuur JR, Chan WY, Venter SN, Steenkamp ET. (2020) Paraburkholderia youngii sp. nov. and 'Paraburkholderia atlantica' - Brazilian and Mexican Mimosa-associated rhizobia that were previously known as Paraburkholderia tuberum sv. mimosae. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 10.1016/j.syapm.2020.126152
Havenga M, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Dreyer LL, Roets F, Aylward J. (2020) Diagnostic markers for Teratosphaeria destructans and closely related species. Forest Pathology 50(6):e12645. 10.1111/efp.12645
Li GQ, Slippers B, Wingfield MJ, Chen SF. (2020) Variation in Botryosphaeriaceae from Eucalyptus plantations in YunNan Province in southwestern China across a climatic gradient. IMA Fungus 11(22) 10.1186/s43008-020-00043-x
Paap T, Wingfield MJ, Burgess TI, Hulbert JM, Santini A. (2020) Harmonising the fields of invasion science and forest pathology. NeoBiota 62:301-332. 10.3897/neobiota.62.52991 PDF
Gevers CR, Dittrich-Schroder D, Slippers B, Hurley BP. (2020) Interactions between hymenopteran species associated with gall-forming wasps: the Leptocybe invasa community as a case study. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12413
Queffelec J, Allison JD, Greeff JM, Slippers B. (2020) Influence of reproductive biology on establishment capacity in introduced Hymenoptera species. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-020-02375-6
Liu QL, Li JQ, Wingfield MJ, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Crous PW, Chen SF. (2020) Reconsideration of species boundaries and proposed DNA barcodes for Calonectria. Studies in Mycology 10.1016/j.simyco.2020.08.001 PDF
Bush SJ, Slippers B, Dittrich-Schröder G, Hurley BP. (2020) Host specificity tests reveals new host of a global biological control agent Psyllaephagus bliteus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). African Entomology 28:238-248. 10.4001/003.028.0238
Migliorini D, Luchi N, Pepori AL, Pecori F, Aglietti C, Maccioni F, Munck I, Wyka S, Broders K, Wingfield MJ, Santini A. (2020) Caliciopsis moriondi, a new species for a fungus long confused with the pine pathogen C. pinea. MycoKeys 73:87-108. 10.3897/mycokeys.73.53028
Wilken PM, Kharwar RN, Lumbsch HT, Navathe S, Pérez CA, Ramírez-Berrutti N, Sharma R, Sun Y, Wingfield BD, Huhndorf S, Duong TA, Aylward J, Chand R, Grewe F, Lane FA, Sinha S, Ametrano C, Distefano I, Divakur PK, Wingfield MJ. (2020) Draft genome sequences of Ambrosiella cleistominuta, Cercospora brassicicola, C. citrullina, Physcia stellaris and Teratosphaeria pseudoeucalypti.. IMA Fungus 11(19) 10.1186/s43008-020-00039-7
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
Bose T, Wingfield MJ, Roux J, Vivas M, Burgess TI. (2020) Phytophthora species associated with roots of native and non-native trees in natural and managed forests. Microbial Ecology 10.1007/s00248-020-01563-0