Ms Esna du Plessis

MSc student


Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Primary Supervisor
Jolanda Roux

Co Supervisor
Alistair McTaggart
Irene Barnes



I am a MSc student in the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) at FABI.  My research project is on the important rust pathogen, Puccinia psidii, I will be  investigating the diversity of P. psidii populations in South Africa under the supervision of Prof. Jolanda Roux and Dr. Alistair McTaggart. This pathogen causes serious damage to plants in the Myrtaceae family (eucalypts, guava, clove and myrtle) and is of international importance. Quite a few species of Myrtaceae are native to South Africa and are being threatened by this pathogen in both gardens and natural forests. Furthermore, genotypes of Puccinia psidii in Australia and Brazil are causing serious damage to Eucalyptus trees in plantations. However, very little is known regarding the South African genotype. Thus, my study includes a national survey of native Myrtaceae in South Africa, screening of plantation Eucalyptus species and native Myrtaceae and working towards understanding the importance and predicting the future of this pathogen in South Africa.

Export to RIS
du Plessis E, Granados GM, Barnes I, Ho WH, Alexander BJR, Roux J, McTaggart AR. (2019) The pandemic strain of Austropuccinia psidii causes myrtle rust in New Zealand and Singapore. Australasian Plant Pathology 48:253-256. 10.1007/s13313-019-0624-x
McTaggart AR, Shuey LS, Granados GM, du Plessis E, Fraser S, Barnes I, Naidoo S, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2018) Evidence that Austropuccinia psidii may complete its sexual life cycle on Myrtaceae. Plant Pathology 67:729-734. 10.1111/ppa.12763
du Plessis E, McTaggart AR, Granados GM, Wingfield MJ, Roux J, Pegg GS, Makinson J, Purcell M, Ali M. (2017) First report of myrtle rust caused by Austropuccinia psidi on Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Myrtaceae) from Singapore. Plant Disease 101(9):1676. 10.1094/PDIS-04-17-0530-PDN