Andrea Melissa Wilson

  • Visiting Ph.D. student
  • Geiser Lab
Andrea Melissa Wilson
120 Buckhout Lab (office)
118/119 Buckhout Lab (lab)

University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-865-7343
Fax: 814-863-7217


  1. M.S. Genetics, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria, 2016
  2. B.S. Genetics, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria, 2012


My research has been focused on the genes involved in sexual reproduction of a number of fungal pathogens and saprobes. While I focused on a single species of the Ceratocystis genus in my Honours degree, I worked on two species belonging to the related genus, Huntiella, in my Masters degree. For my Ph.D., I will be furthering the work I started in my Master's while potentially adding Ophiostoma species to my analysis.

The availability of draft genome assemblies for the species I have worked on has aided in the research I have done on the mating of these species. Mining for the Mating Type genes in these genomes and the subsequent comparison of these genes across different species formed a large part of my Master's degree. As part of my research, we produced a significant amount of RNA-Seq data to complement the genome data we have. This has helped us identify potentially important pathways involved in the sexual development pathway of these species.

Species of the Ceratocystidaceae employ a wide range of interesting and unique sexual strategies and thus represent a fantastic group of fungi in which to research mating. Their deviations from the norm allow for comparisons that ultimately lead to a better understanding of sex in fungi in general and the evolution behind this very complicated process. [Excerpt from Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute profile.]


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

Wilson AM, Wilken PM, van der Nest MA, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2015) Homothallism: An umbrella term for describing diverse sexual behaviours. IMA Fungus 6(1):207-214. 10.5598/imafungus.2015.06.01.13

Wilson AM, Godlonton T, van der Nest MA, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2015) Unisexual reproduction in Huntiella moniliformis. Fungal Genetics and Biology 80:1-9. 10.1016/j.fgb.2015.04.008

Van der Nest MA, Beirn LA, Crouch JA, Demers JE, De Beer ZW, De Vos L, Gordon TR, Moncalvo JM, Naidoo K, Sanchez-Ramirez S, Roodt D, Santana QC, Slinksi SL, Stata M, Taerum SJ, Wilken PM, Wilson AM, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2014) Draft genomes of Amanita jacksonii, Ceratocystis albifundus, Fusarium circinatum, Huntiella omanensis, Leptographium procerum, Rutstroemia sydowiana, and Sclerotinia echinophila. IMA Fungus 5(2):473-486. 10.5598/imafungus.2014.05.02.11

Van der Nest MA, Bihon W, De Vos L, Naidoo K, Roodt D, Rubagotti E, Slippers B, Steenkamp ET, Wilken PM, Wilson A, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. (2014) Draft genome sequences of Diplodia sapinea, Ceratocystis manginecans, and Ceratocystis moniliformis. IMA Fungus 5(1):135-140. 10.5598/imafungus.2014.05.01.13