Gerhard Pietersen is a Specialist Scientist of the Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute (ARC-PPRI) and Extra-Ordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Gerhard completed his PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and has subsequently been employed the ARC-PPRI except for a five-year absence (2004 to 2009) when he was employed by Citrus Research International. His field of study is in plant virology and has been involved for a number of years in studying the epidemiology and control of the spread of grapevine leafroll disease, associated in South Africa with infection by mainly grapevine leafroll associated virus 3 (GLRaV-3). His research has led to an integrated strategy to near-eradicate GLRaV-3 from specific vineyards in South Africa and New Zealand. He has also conducted extensive research on the population structure of citrus tristeza virus genotypes and on Candidatus Liberibacter africanus which is associated with citrus greening disease, a disease similar to the devastating huanglingbing (HLB) of citrus. His research group are also currently studying maize lethal necrosis disease, which while not yet in South Africa is threatening a number of countries in East Africa, identification and seasonal persistence of a rhabdovirus of soybeans, thus far only reported from South Africa.
Abstracts this author is presenting: