Johanna Steyaert

Johanna Steyaert

Research Scientist

BSc, MSc, PhD

Office +64 3 325 3700

Direct +64 3 325 3712



Johanna is a molecular and microbial research scientist with a strong background in biocontrol of plant diseases. Her research spans understanding the genetics of biocontrol fungi to optimising production of biocontrol agents in collaboration with commercial partners.

She began her career in the private sector as a Seed Analyst at Challenge Seeds (PGG Wrightson), and then moved into academia completing a MSc in fungal biocontrol mechanisms and a PhD in fungal reproduction at Lincoln University. After completing her PhD, Johanna won a prestigious Marsden Fund grant from the New Zealand Royal Society. She led a highly original project studying the effect of the Earth’s electromagnetic field on fungal reproduction. Prior to coming to Lincoln Agritech she was a senior scientist at the Bio-Protection Research Centre working on biocontrol of plant diseases using Trichoderma fungi.

Her research interests include:

  • Fungal reproduction
  • Plant-microbe interactions
  • Magnetobiology

Academic and Professional History:

  • 2017 – present Research Scientist, Lincoln Agritech Ltd, New Zealand
  • 2012 – 2017 Research Officer, Bio-Protection Research Centre (BPRC), Lincoln University (LU)
  • 2008 – 2012 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, BPRC, LU 
  • 2006 – 2008 Research Fellow, BPRC, LU
  • 2002 – 2003 Research Technician, Soil, Plant and Ecological Sciences Division, LU
  • 1992 – 1999 Laboratory Manager, Kimihia Research Centre, Wrightson Ltd., New Zealand
  • 1990 – 1992 Seed Analyst Assistant, Challenge Seeds Ltd., New Zealand 
  • 1989 – 1990 Technical Assistant, Bayer NZ Ltd., New Zealand

Research subjects:

  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology

Publications - download the PDF

landWISE Podcast: Harnessing the Power of Microbes

Recent Projects

Latest Publications View All

The Hemp Holobiont

Steyaert, J. May, 2021

Insights into metabolic changes caused by the Trichoderma virens-maize root interaction

Schweiger R, Padilla-Arizmendi F, Nogueira-Lopez G, Rostás M, Lawry R, Brown C, Hampton J, Steyaert JM, Müller C, Mendoza-Mendoza A Feb, 2021

TrichoGate: An improved Vector System for a Large Scale of Functional Analysis of Trichoderma Genes

Nogueira-López, G., Padilla-Arizmendi, F., Inwood, S., Lyne, S., Steyaert, J.M., Nieto-Jacobo, M.F., Stewart, A., Mendoza-Mendoza, A. Oct, 2019

Molecular mechanisms of communication mediated by fungal volatile organic compounds

Mendoza, A., Nieto-Jacobo, MF., Cruz Magalhães, V., Rostás, M., Padilla-Arizmendi, F., Kandula, W., Herrera-Estrella, A., Steyaert, JM., Stewart, A., Lopes-Loguercio, L., & Hampton, J. Mar, 2019

The NADPH oxidases Nox1 and Nox2 differentially regulate volatile organic compounds, fungistatic activity, plant growth promotion and nutrient assimilation in Trichoderma atroviride.

Cruz-Magalhães, V., Nieto-Jacobo, MF., van Zijll de Jong, E., Rostás, M., Padilla-Arizmendi, F., Kandula, D., Kandula, J., Hampton, J., Herrera-Estrella, A., Steyaert, JM., Stewart, A., Loguercio, LL., Mendoza-Mendoza, A. Jan, 2019

Unlocking the potential of indigenous owned genetic resources in Aotearoa (New Zealand): Engagement of Trichoderma researchers with New Zealand Maori

Fuller, R. J. M., Hill, R. A., Stewart, A., George, M., Weld, R. J., Steyaert, J. M. Jun, 2018

Omics technologies as tools to understand Trichoderma communication with plant roots

Lawry, R., Nogueira-Lopez, G., Nieto-Jacobo, M. F., Castaneda-Casasola, C., Padilla-Arizmendi, F., Li, J. H., Rostas, M., Brown, C., Greenwood, D., Stewart, A., Anducho, M. A., Steyaert, J. M., Mendoza-Mendoza, A. Jun, 2018

The apoplastic secretome of Trichoderma virens during interaction with maize roots shows an inhibition of plant defense and scavenging oxidative stress secreted proteins

Nogueira-López, G., Greenwood, D. R., Middleditch, M., Winefield, C., Eaton, C., Steyaert, J. M., Mendoza-Mendoza, A. Apr, 2018