Westerdijjk Institute


Westerdijjk Institute

Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute 

Westerdijk Institute is responsible for the isolation and identification of microbes associated with sorghum and Striga microbiome. More specifically they will test these microbes to determine which effect they have on the Striga infection cycle via glasshouse and field trials and employ comparative genomics to understand this mode of action. Within the institute, the following people are involved:

Pedro Crous - Principal Investigator 

Pedro leads the Evolutionary Phytopathology group at the Westerdijk Institute and participates in the isolation, characterisation, and screening of microbes against Striga.

Jerome Collemare - Principal Investigator

Jerome is leading the Fungal Natural Products group of the Westerdijk Institute and provides expertise (in molecular plant pathology, genomics and fungal bioactive compounds) and guidance for the fungal comparative genomics work.

Ewald Groenewald - Senior Researcher

Ewald is responsible for elucidating the phylogenetic relationships among taxa involved in the Sorghum/Striga interaction, and overall management of the programme.

Khyati Bhatt – PostDoc

Khyati is responsible for the comparative genomics of the potential fungal strains which could be used as a biocontrol against the Striga. Comparative genomics will help us understanding mode of action for the activity against Striga.

Thomas Mostert-Technician

Thomas is conducting and optimising bioassays of Striga and fungal interactions in plants and in vitro. He will ensure that the fungal isolates used in WP2 are maintained at Westerdijk. Additionally, he will help Jose Vicente at NIOO with greenhouse assays and optimising of protocols where tests will be conducted on Sorghum and other crops.