Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Jennifer Niem

Jennifer Niem

 Jennifer Niem

Jennifer Niem completed her BSc degree in Agriculture majoring in Plant Pathology from University of the Philippines Los BaƱos (UPLB) and her MSc degree in Plant Pathology from Washington State University, USA. 

Before coming to CSU, I have been working as University Researcher in UPLB studying the diversity of macrofungi in Philippine forests and small islands.  Prior to that, I was employed for 2 years at the International Rice Research Institute as a mycotoxin specialist assessing the extent of mycotoxin contamination in rice in the Philippines and in Myanmar, evaluating mycotoxin detection techniques using various commercially available ELISA kits and immunochromatography-based methods and developing different mycotoxin reduction strategy.  I have also worked as University Research Associate at UPLB working on different research projects concerning fungal and bacterial diseases of agricultural crops before and after harvest. In a CDR-USAID funded collaborative project between UPLB and Volcani Center, Israel, she spent 2 years in Israel working on a research project comparing pectolytic and cellulolytic gene expressions in apple cultivars that differ in their susceptibility to Alternaria alternata, causal agent of apple core rot. 

I commenced my PhD studies at Charles Sturt University in July 2016 under the CSUPRS Scholarship. And also am a recipient of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) top-up scholarship.

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Specialization:  Plant pathology

Focus area: Biological control of grapevine trunk diseases

Grapevine trunk diseases are considered a serious problem of grapevines worldwide. Eutypa dieback and Botryosphaeria dieback are among the top five priority diseases of the Australian wine grape industry.  Current management of these diseases is through remedial surgery and fungicide treatments of pruning wounds.  However, registered fungicides are limited and some only offer short term protection. 

Preliminary studies in our laboratory revealed some endophytic microorganisms including Pseudomonas spp. that inhibit the growth of some Eutypa and Botryosphaeria dieback pathogens. 

This study aims to characterise the microbiome associated with grapevine wood and to assess their biocontrol potential including Pseudomonas spp. against grapevine trunk disease pathogens. The mechanisms of action involved in the control of the chosen trunk disease pathogens will be elucidated thru laboratory assays and use of molecular-based techniques targeting specific gene markers.  Furthermore, the ability of the biocontrol agent to suppress trunk diseases in planta will also be evaluated.

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  1. Niem, J.M. and Baldovino, M.M.  2015.  Initial Checklist of Macrofungi in the Karst Area of Cavinti, Laguna. Mus. Pub. Nat. His.  Vol. 4: 55-61.

  2. Inglis, D., Gundersen, B., Niem, J., and Morse, J. 2013.  Field Flooding for Controlling Soilborne Potato Pathogens in Western Washington. Washington State University Extension.  EM056E.  Published online on Oct 2013 at http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/EM056E/EM056E.pdf             

  3. Niem, J., Gundersen, B., and Inglis, D. A.  2013.  Effects of Soil Flooding on the Survival of Two Potato Pathogens, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Verticillium dahliaeAmerican Journal of Potato Research.  90 (6): 578-590. 

  4. Niem, J., I. Miyara, Y. Ettedgui, M. Reuveni, M. Flaishman, and D. Prusky.  2007.  Core rot Development in Red Delicious Apples Is Affected by Susceptibility of the Seed Locule to Alternaria alternata Colonization.  Phytopathology 97 (11): 1415-1421.

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