Prof David Guest
My research is driven by my fascination with the complex interactions between plants and other organisms, in particular how plants recognise and respond to potential pathogens. Our research aims to discover ways to apply this knowledge to help farmers, especially in tropical countries where disease losses are highest.
I am interested in the way plants respond to microbes in their environment, and which responses confer disease resistance. Our research has highlighted the central roles of the hypersensitive response and oxidative burst as key components in the early stages of the resistant response. We are also interested in the interactions between plants and endophytic fungi, and the factors that cause these normally compatible organisms to become pathogens. These questions have significance for the management of plant diseases in agriculture and horticulture.
Our field-based research focuses on the management of Phytophthora diseases in perennial tropical crops like cocoa, coconuts, oilpalm, durian and jackfruit, high value crops that are severely affected by Phytophthora diseases, and often a source of income for smallholder farmers. Our international collaborations in countries including Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Colombia aim to develop practical integrated crop management strategies for smallholder farmers. In Australia we collaborate with a range of land management authorities to develop strategies to manage dieback disease affecting native forests and bushlands.
We are also interested in the role of moulds in human asthma disease. This research involves collaborations with the Faculty of Medicine and the Australian Museum.
David Guest's career began with completing a BScAgr degree, majoring in plant pathology, and PhD at the University of Sydney. Following this, he took a lectureship in the School of Botany at the University of Melbourne, and returned to the University of Sydney in 2004 as Professor of Horticultural Science. In 2007 he became Professor of Plant Pathology. He has also held appointments as Visiting Professor at the University of Paris (6) and Kasetsart University. He currently sits on the Research Boards of the PNG Cocoa and Coconut Institute and CENIPALMA, the Colombian Oilpalm Research Institute, and provides expert advice to Biosecurity Australia and the Australian Research Council.
David currently supervises 6 PhD and 3 MScAgr students.
- Drenth A and Guest DI. (2012). Phytophthora palmivora in tropical tree crops. Ch. 14 in Phytophthora: A Global Perspective, ed. KH Lamour. CABI, UK.
- Guest DI. 2012. How plants defend themselves. Microbiology Australia 33, 15-17
Shuttleworth LA, Liew ECY& Guest DI. 2012. Gnomoniopsis smithogilvii LA Shuttleworth, ECY Liew & DI Guest sp. nov. Fungal Planet Description Sheet 108. Persoonia 28, 142-143
- Daniel R, Konam J, Saul-Maora JY, Kamuso A, Namaliu Y, Vano JT, Wenani R, N’nelau P, Palinrungi R and Guest DI. 2011. Knowledge through participation: the triumphs and challenges of transferring Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPDM) technology to cocoa farmers in Papua New Guinea. Food Security 3, 65-79
- Ge, Y & Guest DI. 2011. Light and scanning electron microscopy studies on the infection process of melon leaves by Colletotrichum lagenarium. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 76, 67-74
Samuels GJ, Ismaiel A, Rosmana A, Junaid M, Guest DI, McMahon PJ, Keane PJ, Purwantara A, Lambert S, Rodriguez-Carres M, & Cubeta M. 2011. Vascular-streak dieback of cacao in Southeast Asia and Melanesia: in planta detection and a new taxonomy. Fungal Biology 116, 11-23. doi:10.1016/j.funbio.2011.07.009
Hall C, Heath R, Guest DI. 2011. Rapid and intense accumulation of terpenoid phytoalexins in infected xylem tissues of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) resistant to Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. vasinfectum, Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 76, 182-188. doi: 10.1016/j.pmpp.2011.09.002
- McMahon P, Purwantara A, Susilo AW, Sukamto S, Wahab A, Hussin bin Purung, Hidayat M, Ismail D, Taproni T, Lambert S, Guest DI and Keane P. 2010. On-farm selection for quality and resistance to pest/diseases of cocoa in Sulawesi: (ii) quality and performance of selections against Phytophthora pod rot and vascular-streak dieback. International Journal of Pest Management 56, 351-361
- Guest DI, Daniel R, Namaliu Y, and Konam JK. 2010. Technology Adoption: Classroom in the Cocoa Block. Chapter 3, in Knowledge and Technology Transfer for Plant Pathology, Plant Pathology in the 21st Century 4. N.V. Hardwick and M.L. Gullino (eds.). DOI 10.1007/978-1-4020-8934-3_3, © Springer Science + Business Media B.V.
- McMahon PJ, Purwantara A, Wahab A, Imron M, Lambert S, Keane PJ, Guest, DI. 2010. Phosphonate applied by trunk-injection controls stem canker and decreases Phytophthora pod rot (black pod) incidence in cocoa in Sulawesi. Australasian Plant Pathology 39, 170 - 175