Prof Lise Korsten

Professor in Plant Pathology

Section: Plant Pathology

Co-Director of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security

Office: Agricultural Sciences Building 2-17

Tel: +27 (0)12 420 3295

Fax: +27 (0)12 420 4588

Email: lise.korsten[AT]



Prof Korsten is currently Co-Director within the Department of Science and Innovation, Centre of Excellence in Food Security. She is also responsible for the food safety and regulatory control programmes within the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security and actively interacts with other researchers in various institutes. She holds the position of chair in the Global Task Force of Food Security for the International Society for Plant Pathology. Prof Korsten has addressed the South African Parliament on Food Safety Control and has developed a national framework for government to develop a Food Control Authority.

She has been able to attract extensive national and international long term funding such as the Water Research Commission solicited research projects “Measurement of water pollution determining the sources and changes of microbial contamination and impact on food safety from farming to retail level for fresh vegetables”, “An investigation into the link between water quality and microbiological safety of fruit and vegetables from the farming to the processing stages of production and marketing” and “Evaluation of the risks associated with the use of rain water harvested from roof-tops for domestic use and homestead food gardens, and groundwater for domestic use and livestock watering”, as well as the 7th EU Framework project “Impact of climate change and globalisation on safety of fresh produce - governing a supply chain of uncompromised food sovereignty.

Prof Korsten developed South Africa's first biocontrol agent for fruit and established a biocontrol research group at the University of Pretoria (1992). She has also established a fresh produce health group that focusses on food safety of fresh produce and on Sanitary and Phytosanitary aspects related to international trade.

Prof Korsten has focussed her research mainly on the complementary fields of postharvest technology and food safety as related to international trade in fresh produce. As a team the Plant Health and Safety research group has been able to develop several innovative technologies to reduce disease and prevent product contamination. The value of her research programmes (Produce Quality and Safety (PQS) and Postharvest Innovation Research) is best illustrated by sustained industry financial support, intensive student training and publications. Prof Korsten has established a core of researchers and support staff that has been with her for the past 20 years totally funded by the Industry. She has supervised 51 MSc students, 20 PhD students and 11 Postdocs.

Recent Publications
  1. Ratshilingano, M.T., du Plessis, E.M., Duvenage, S. & Korsten, L. 2022. Characterization of Multidrug-Resistant Escherichia coli Isolated from Two Commercial Lettuce and Spinach Supply Chains. Journal of Food Protection 85(1), 122-132.
  2. Duvenage, S., Rossouw, W., Villamizar-Rodríguez, G., du Plessis, E.M., & Korsten, L. 2021. Antibiotic resistance profiles of Staphylococcus spp. from white button mushrooms and handlers. South African Journal of Science. 117(11/12).
  3. Richter, L., du Plessis, E.M., Duvenage, S. & Korsten, L. 2021. Microbiological safety of spinach throughout commercial supply chains in Gauteng Province, South Africa and characterization of isolated multidrug‐resistant Escherichia coli. Journal of Applied Microbiology.
  4. Bill, M., Chidamba, L., Gokul, J.K. & Korsten, L. 2021. Mango Endophyte and Epiphyte Microbiome Composition during Fruit Development and Post-Harvest Stages. Horticulturae 7(11), 495.
  5. Caron, P., van Ittersum, M., Avermaete, T., Brunori, G., Fanzo, J., Giller, K., Hainzelin, E., Ingram, J., Korsten, L., Martin-Prével, Y., Osiru, M., Palm, C., Rivera Ferre, M., Rufino, M., Schneider, S., Thomas, A. & Walker, D. 2021. Statement based on the 4TH international conference on global food security - December 2020: Challenges for a disruptive research Agenda. Global Food Security, Volume 30, 100554, ISSN 2211- 9124.
  6. Ratshilingano, M.T., Du Plessis, E.M., Duvenage, S. & Korsten, L. 2021. Multidrug resistance and molecular characterisation of generic and extended-spectrum β-lactamase producing Escherichia coli isolated from selected commercially produced lettuce and spinach supply chains. Journal of Food Protection, accepted July 2021.
  7. Wassermann, B., Korsten, L. & Berg, G. 2021. Plant health and sound vibration: Analyzing implications of the microbiome in grape wine leaves. Pathogens 12;10(1):63. doi:10.3390/pathogens10010063.
  8. Baloyi, T., Duvenage, S., Du Plessis, E.M., Villamizar-Rodríguez, G. & Korsten, L. 2021. Multidrug resistant Escherichia coli from fresh produce sold by street vendors in South African informal settlements, International Journal of Environmental Health Research, Mar 11: 1-16. DOI: 10.1080/09603123.2021.1896681.
  9. Richter, L., Du Plessis, E.M., Duvenage, S. & Korsten, L. 2021. High prevalence of multidrug resistant Escherichia coli isolated from fresh vegetables sold by selected formal and informal traders in the most densely populated province of South Africa. Journal of Food Science 86 (1):161-168.
  10. Loots, M., Chidamba, L. & Korsten, L. 2021. Microbial load and prevalence of Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. in macadamia nut production systems. Journal of Food Protection 84 (6): 1088-1096. DOI 10.4315/JFP-20-23.
  11. Tzortzakis, N., Alkan, N., Ziv, C. & Korsten, L. 2020. Solanaceae and Cucurbitaceae Crops. Chapter 9 in: Palou, Lluís. Postharvest Pathology of Fresh Horticultural Produce. CRC Press, 20191028. VitalBook file. p301-337. ISBN 9781138630833 (hardback) | ISBN 9781315209180 (ebook).
  12. Iwu, C.D., Du Plessis, E.M., Nontongana, N., Korsten, L. & Okoh, A.I. (2020) Antibiogram signatures of some Enterobacteria recovered from irrigation water and agricultural soil in two District Municipalities of South Africa. Microorganisms 8(8):1206. Published online doi:10.3390/microorganisms8081206.
  13. Iwu, C.D., Korsten, L., Okoh, A.I. 2020. The incidence of antibiotic resistance within and beyond the agricultural ecosystem: A concern for public health. Microbiology Open. 9: e1035. DOI 10.1002/mbo3.1035.
  14. Iwu, C.D., Du Plessis, E.M., Korsten, L. & Okoh, A.I. 2020. Prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 strains in irrigation water and agricultural soil in two district municipalities in South Africa. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 78(3), 474-483.
  15. Taībi, A., Meile, J.C., Dieudonne, H., Korsten, L., Chillet, M. & Remize, F. 2020. New bacterial agents to limit Colletotrichum gloeosporioides development on mango. Advances in Microbiology, 10: 691-712.
  16. Bill, M., Chidamba, L., Gokul, J.K., Labuschagne, N. and Korsten, L. 2020. Bacterial community dynamics and functional profiling of soils from conventional and organic cropping systems: a case study at Saasveld, Western Cape South Africa. Applied Soil Ecology, 157:
  17. Kusstatscher, P., Cernava, T., Abdelfattah, A., Gokul, J., Korsten, L. & Berg, G. 2020. Microbiome approaches provide the key to biologically control postharvest pathogens and storability of fruits and vegetables. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 
  18. Richter, L., du Plessis, E.M., Duvenage, S. and Korsten, L. 2020. Occurrence, phenotypic and molecular characterization of extended-spectrum- and ampC-b-Lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae isolated from selected commercial spinach supply chains in South Africa. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11:638. Published online doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00638 (Journal impact factor 2019 (Inicites): 4.259)
  19. Gqozo, M.P., Bill, M., Siyoum, N., Labuschagne, N. and Korsten, L. 2020. Fungal diversity and community composition of wheat rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soils from three different agricultural production regions of South Africa. Applied Soil Ecology, 151, July 2020, 103543 
  20. Manhique, G.A., Hessel, C.T., Du Plessis, E.M., Lopes, S.M., de Oliveira Elias, S., Tondo, E.C. and Korsten, L. 2020. Prevalence of Enterobacteriaceae on ready to eat salads, drinking water and surfaces in food markets of Maputo, Mozambique. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 8(1): 63-73. 

Plant Health and Safety Research Group


-- Updated January 2022 --

Published by Jarishma Gokul

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