Prof Lise Korsten


Prof Lise Korsten


Professor Plant Pathology
Section: Plant Pathology

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

Office: Agricultural building 2-17

Tel: +27 (0)12 420 3295

Fax: +27 (0)12 420 4588
Email: lise.korsten[AT]


Prof Korsten is currently the Co-Director within the Department of Science and Technology, Centre of Excellence Food Security.  She is also responsible for the food safety and regulatory control programmes within the DST Centre of Excellence Food Security.  She is a chief editor of Crop Protection and is chairing the International Society for Plant Pathology Task Force on Global Food Security. Prof Korsten has focussed her research mainly on complementary fields of postharvest technology and food safety as related to international trade in fresh produce.  She has been able to establish research teams in food safety, postharvest pathology, biocontrol and mushroom and fruit health. As a team they have been able to develop several innovative technologies to reduce diseases and prevent product contamination. The value of her research programmes can best be illustrated by sustainable industry financial support.  She has been able to attract extensive national and international long term funding such as the Water Research Commission solicited research projects “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.  Current projects include the third WRC project

Prof Korsten has also developed one of the first biocontrol products in South Africa in 1992 that was patented, registered and commercialised and is still used in the fruit industry.  An alternative mushroom casing material has also been developed by her team using waste products that has since been licenced for commercial production. 



  1. Gomba, N., Chidamba, L. & Korsten, L.  2016.  Antimicrobial resistance profiles of Salmonella spp. from agricultural environments in fruit production systems. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 13(9):495-501. (Journal impact factor 2014 = 2.270)
  2. Jongman, M. & Korsten, L. 2016. Microbial quality and suitability of roof harvested rainwater in rural villages for crop irrigation and domestic use. Journal of Water and Health, 14(6): 961-971 (Journal impact factor 2014 = 1.458)
  3. De Bruin, W., van der Merwe, C., Kritzinger, Q., Bornman, R. & Korsten, L. 2017. Ultrastructural and developmental evidence of phytotoxicity on cos lettuce (Lactuca sativa) associated with nonylphenol exposure.  Chemosphere, 169: 428-439 (Journal impact factor 2015 = 3.698)
  4. Rossouw, W., & Korsten, L. 2017.  Cultivable microbiome of fresh white button mushrooms.  Letters of Applied Microbiology, 64: 164-170.  (Journal impact factor 2015 = 2.806)
  5. Duvenage, F., du Plessis, E., Duvenage, S., Volschenk, Q. & L. Korsten, 2017.  Viable bacterial population and persistence of foodborne pathogens on the pear carpoplane.  Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 97: 1185-1192 (Journal Impact factor 2014 = 1.714)
  6. Duvenage, S. & Korsten, L. 2017. Assessment of foodborne pathogen presence in the peach supply chain and its potential risk to the end consumer. Food Control 78: 374-382. (Journal Impact factor 2014 = 3.388).
  7. Scholtz, I., Siyoum N. and Korsten, L., 2017. Penicillium air mycoflora in postharvest fruit handling environments associated with the pear export chain. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 128 (2017) 153–160 (Journal impact factor 2015 = 2.618)
  8. Gomba, A., Chidamba, L. & L. Korsten, 2017. Effect of postharvest practices including degreening on citrus carpoplane microbial biomes. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 122(4):1057-1070 (Journal impact factor 2015 = 2.156).
  9. De Bruin, W., van der Merwe, C.F., Kritzinger, Q., Bornman, R.M.S. & Korsten, L., 2017. Morphological characterisation of lettuce plasma membrane ultrastructure and vesicle formation caused by nonylphenol: A scanning electron microscopy study. South African Journal of Botany, 111: 176–181. (Journal impact factor 2015 = 1.244).
  10. Bill, M., Korsten, L., Remize, F., Glowacz, M. & Sivakumar, A.  2017.  Effect of thyme oil vapours exposure on phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and lipoxygenase (LOX) genes expression, and control of anthracnose in ‘Hass’ and ‘Ryan’ avocado fruit. Scientia Horticulturae,  224: 232-237
  11. Jongman, M. & Korsten, L. 2017 Bacterial biomes and potential human pathogens in irrigation water and leafy greens from different production systems described using pyrosequencing.  Journal of Applied Microbiology, 123, 1043—1053. (Journal impact factor 2015: 2.156)
  12. Du Plessis, E.M., Govender, S., Pillay, B. & Korsten, L.  2017.  Exploratory study into the microbiological quality of spinach and cabbage purchased from street vendors and retailers in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Journal of Food Protection, 80(10): 1726–1733.  (Journal impact factor 2015: 1.609).
  13. Jongman, M. & L. Korsten, 2017. Assessment of irrigation water quality and microbiological safety of leafy greens in different production systems. Journal of Food Safety, Volume 37, Issue 3 August 2017 e12324 doi/10.1111/jfs.12324.  (Journal impact factor 2015: 0.915).
  14. Carmichael, P, Siyoum, N., Chidamba, L. & Korsten L. 2017.  Characterisation of fungal communities in table grape developmental stages in table grape grown in the northern region of South Africa.  Journal of Applied Microbiology, 123, 1251-1262. (Journal impact factor 2015: 2.165)
  15. Jongman, M & Korsten, L. 2017.  Irrigation water quality and Microbial Safety of Leafy Greens in Different Vegetable Production Systems: A Review. Food Reviews International, DOI: 10.1080/87559129.2017.1289385
  16. Gomba, A., Chidamba, L. & Korsten, L. 2017. Viable microbial loads on citrus carpoplane during packhouse processing and survival of foodborne pathogens in reconstituted postharvest fungicides. Submitted to Journal of Food Safety, 37: e12357. doi/10.1111/jfs.12357. (Journal citation index 2015 = 0.915).


Post Doctoral Research Fellows

Dr Lizyben Chidamba

Food safety

2015 – 2017

Dr Stacey Duvenage

Food security

2015 – 2017

Dr Nazareth Siyoum

Postharvest pathogens of Table grapes

2015 – 2017

Dr. German Villamizar-Rodriguez

Molecular detection & characterisation of antibiotic resistant microorganisms and antibiotic resistance genes in agroecosystems


Dr Malick Bill

Soil microbiome studies in different wheat cropping systems in South Africa.






PhD Students:

Name of student

Degree enrolled for

Project title / Progress

Ms A. Chakwiya

PhD Plant Pathology

The development of molecular tools for cobweb disease detection.

Mr W Rossouw

PhD Microbiology (Upgraded from MSc Microbiology)

Microbial dynamics of white button mushrooms focusing on food safety as well as quality retention through the use of specialised packaging materials.

Ms P Carmichael


PhD Plant Pathology

Postharvest pathogens on table grapes from the field to the market, microbial biomes.

Mr  JP Louw

PhD Plant Pathology

Host-pathogen interactions of Penicillium spp. on stone fruit.

Ms Degracious Kgoale

PhD Biotechnology

A comparative microbial analysis of dark leafy green vegetables produced, prepared and sold formally and informally.

Mr Lawrence Zulu

PhD Microbiology




MSc Students:

Name of student

Degree enrolled for

Project title / Progress

Mr A Khininda

MSc Water Resource management

Risk assessment strategy and quality guidelines development of rainwater harvesting from rooftops for domestic use.

Ms P Madonsela

MSc Water Resource management

Risk assessment of cultural practices of roof harvested rain water in rural communities.

Ms C Coetzee

MSc Microbiology

Determining the prevalence of foodborne pathogens, such as pathogenic Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Listeria spp. in a South African Avocado processing facility.

Ms L Richter

MSc Plant Pathology

Prevalence and characterization of antimicrobial resistant Enterobacteriaceae in fresh vegetables from farm to retail

Ms Muneiwa Ratshilingano

MSc Microbiology

Assessing microbial quality and tracking of antimicrobial resistance in the water-fresh produce interface

Ms Tintswalo Baloyi

MSc (Agric) Plant Pathology

Investigating the safety of fresh produce from the food insecure in Ekurhuleni South Africa

Ms Thabang Msimango

MSc Biotechnology

The prevalence and characterization of foodborne pathogens detected and isolated from food served in school feeding schemes.

Ms Nadia Grobler

MSc Plant Pathology


Ms Manana Dlangalala

MSc Microbiology


Ms Maike Loots

MSc(Agric) Plant Pathology


Mr Francois Viljoen

MSc Microbiology






Co-supervisor of:

Name of student

Degree enrolled for

Project title / Progress

Ms T Gebrehiwot


Effect of international intellectual property law on Food control: The case of Southern Africa.

Mr K Dekeyser

PhD Political science

Governance dynamics of alternative food systems in South Africa.

Ms E Coundouris

MConsumer Sciences Food Management

Consumer trust in the retailer: a survey on food safety knowledge, attitudes and practices in Tshwane.

Ms P Makgolane

PhD Plant Pathology

Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria as biofertilisers and biocontrol agents on wheat in South Africa.

Ms R Carlson

PhD Plant Pathology

Rhizobacteria-induced priming against biotic and abiotic stress using the sorghum-crown rot pathosystem as a model



Published by Jacquie van Der Waals

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