Dr Run Lei Chang

Postdoctoral Fellow


Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
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Research Profiles

Currently I am completing my PhD within the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria. The focus of my project is ophiostomatoid fungi associated with bark beetles and their phoretic mites on coniferous hosts in China. These fungi and their arthropod associates are responsible for devastating diseases and losses to forestry and native ecosystems globally. Knowledge of the taxonomy and systematics of these fungi is essential to managing and reducing their impact. 

The majority of previous research on ophiostomatoid fungi and their beetle and mite associates has been completed in North America and Europe. However, little is known regarding ophiostomotoid fungi and their associates in China. Currently, 40 species of ophiostomatoid fungi have been recorded from bark beetles in China, with no species recorded on mites. This compares with fifty-five species of Ophiostoma and related fungi currently reported on beetles from Japan.

During my project to date, approximately 500 isolates of ophiostomatoid fungi have been sampled from beetles and mites collected from conifers in Jilin Province, Heilongjiang Province (north-eastern China), Qinghai Province (western China) and Yunnan Province (south-western China). Preliminary results indicate 10+ novel ophiostomotoid species associated with beetles and mites from these provinces that are potentially important conifer pathogens. 

The outcomes of this research will contribute to a deeper understanding of the biodiversity and pathogens associated with conifer-infesting bark beetles in China and provide important information regarding forest management and quarantine.


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Chang R, Duong TA, Taerum SJ, Wingfield MJ, Zhou XD, Yin M, De Beer ZW. (2018) Ophiostomatoid fungi associated with the spruce bark beetle Ips typographus, including 11 new species from China. Persoonia 42:50-74. 10.3767/persoonia.2019.42.03 PDF
Chang R, Duong TA, Taerum SJ, Wingfield MJ, Zhou X, De Beer ZW. (2017) Ophiostomatoid fungi associated with conifer-infesting beetles and their phoretic mites in Yunnan, China. MycoKeys 28:19-64. 10.3897/mycokeys.28.21758 PDF
Wingfield BD, Duong TA, Hammerbacher A, van der Nest MA, Wilson A, Chang R, de Beer ZW, Steenkamp ET, Wilken PM, Naidoo K, Wingfield MJ. (2016) IMA Genome-F 7 Draft genome sequences for Ceratocystis fagacearum, C. harringtonii, Grosmannia penicillata, and Huntiella bhutanensis. IMA Fungus 7(2):317-323. 10.5598/imafungus.2016.07.02.11 PDF