Dr Albe van der Merwe

Department of Genetics

[email protected]


Evolutionary and Population Genetics 

Albe van der Merwe completed his undergraduate training in Genetics and Microbiology and obtained a BSc Honours degree in Microbiology at the University of the Free State. He completed an MSc (Genetics) and a PhD (Genetics) at the University of Pretoria.

He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Genetics (UP) and a research leader of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme and the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology.

His research focuses on the evolution and population genetics of the Cryphonectriaceae, specifically Chrysoporthe austroafricana and its close relatives which cause Eucalyptus stem cankers. He is also involved in research on Fusarium circinatum (the pine pitch canker fungus) and its relatives, with emphasis on quantitative genetics aspects. 


 IRT-related research projects

Albe is the principal investigator for research projects focusing on the genomics of C. austroafricana, C. cubensis and C. deuterocubensis. The overall aim of these projects is to understand patterns of pathogenicity. This can be accomplished by mining genomic sequences for pathogenicity genes, pathogenicity-associated quantitative trait loci, mating-type genes and other reproductive factors, and homologous microsatellite loci for population genetic analyses.


Key Publications

Van der Merwe, NA, Steenkamp, ET, Rodas, C, Wingfield, BD, Wingfield, MJ (2012). Host switching between native and non-native trees in a population of the canker pathogen Chrysoporthe cubensis from Colombia. Plant Pathol. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2012.02657.x

De Vos, L, Van der Nest, MA, Van der Merwe, NA, Myburg, AA, Wingfield, MJ, Wingfield, BD (2011). Genetic analysis of growth, morphology and pathogenicity in the F1 progeny of an interspecific cross between Fusarium circinatum and Fusarium subglutinans. Fungal Biol. 115: 902-908

Published by Grant Christie

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