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Bevan Weir

Senior Researcher - Mycologist/Bacteriologist
Bevan Weir
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Research interests

My research field is the systematics and phylogenetics of fungi and bacteria. I work on a diverse range of organisms, such as bacteria, fungi and chromists for different clients or projects, however many of the techniques, applications, and skills are common across taxa.

I am particularly interested in symbiosis and pathogenicity between microorganisms and their hosts, my PhD was on a group symbiotic nitrogen-fixing plant bacteria 'rhizobia', and my postdoc was on a group of plant pathogenic fungi “Colletotrichum”. Systematics (taxonomy and nomenclature) have played a large role in my research projects, and I have a good knowledge of the respective nomenclatural codes of Bacteria and Fungi.

I actively use the latest phylogenetic applications and theory, including species-tree delimitations for refining species concepts in Colletotrichum. One of the most popular pages on my personal website is a tutorial on the use of model testing software in analysing DNA sequences.

Genomics is becoming a large part of my research activities, for my previous two contract reports for MPI Biosecurity NZ I have sequenced and analysed bacterial genomes to obtain a robust identification as well as identify determinants of pathogenicity and sub-specific strain differences.

I am curator of one of New Zealand’s 'nationally significant' collections, the ICMP collection of 21,000 living cryopreserved fungi and bacteria. This resource is used extensively for biosecurity, taxonomic, and plant pathogenic research by the NZ and international research community, and recently I have begun to use the collection to discover useful bioactive compounds, for example we have a bacterium that produces a peptide antimicrobial that is very specific in killing the Psa disease affecting kiwifruit in New Zealand. I also conduct contract and consulting work for local biotechnology companies that produce novel biological fungicides and insecticides that have lower environmental impacts than traditional chemical compounds.

External publication profiles


PhD Biological Sciences

BTech (Hons) Biotechnology


O'Hanlon R, Destefanis M, Milenkovic I, Tomsovsky M, Janousek J, Bellgard SE, Weir BS, Kudlacek T, Jung MH, Jung T 2021. Two new Nothophytophthora species from streams in Ireland and Northern Ireland: Nothophytophthora irlandica and N. lirii sp. nov. PLOS One 16(5). WOS:000664633500010.

Cadelis MM, Geese S, Uy BB, Mulholland DR, van de Pas SJ, Grey A, Weir BS, Copp BR, Wiles S 2021. Antimicrobial Metabolites against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus from the Endophytic Fungus Neofusicoccum australe. Molecules 26(4): 1094. WOS:000624139600001.

Bradshaw RE, Bellgard SE, Black A, Burns BR, Gerth ML, McDougal RL, Scott PM, Waipara NW, Weir BS, Williams NM, Winkworth RC, Ashcroft T, Bradley EL, Dijkwel PP, Guo Y, Lacey RF, Mesarich CH, Panda P, Horner IJ 2020. Phytophthora agathidicida: research progress, cultural perspectives and knowledge gaps in the control and management of kauri dieback in New Zealand. Plant Pathology 69(1): 3-16. WOS:000494520200001.

Dillon MM, Almeida RND, Laflamme B, Martel A, Weir BS, Desveaux D, Guttman DS 2019. Molecular evolution of Pseudomonas syringae Type III secreted effector proteins. Frontiers in Plant Science 10. WOS:000463470400001.

Dillon MM, Thakur S, Almeida RND, Wang PW, Weir BS, Guttman DS 2019. Recombination of ecologically and evolutionarily significant loci maintains genetic cohesion in the Pseudomonas syringae species complex. Genome Biology 20. WOS:000454891900003.

Shirouzu T, Hosaka K, Nam K-O, Weir BS, Johnston PR, Hosoya T 2017. Phylogenetic relationships of eight new Dacrymycetes collected from New Zealand. Persoonia 38: 156–169.

Johnston PR, Weir BS, Cooper JA 2017. Open data on fungi and bacterial plant pathogens in New Zealand. Mycology 8(2): 59–66.

Shivas RG, Tan YP, Edwards J, Dinh Q, Maxwell A, Andjic V, Liberato JR, Anderson C, Beasley DR, Bransgrove K, Coates LM, Cowan K, Daniel R, Dean JR, Lomavatu MF, Mercado-Escueta D, Mitchell RW, Thangavel R, Tran-Nguyen LTT, Weir BS 2016. Colletotrichum species in Australia. Australasian Plant Pathology 45(5): 447–464.

Callaghan SE, Puno VI, Williams AP, Weir BS, Balmas V, Sengsoulichan K, Phantavong S, Keovorlajak T, Phitsanoukane P, Xomphouthilath P, Phapmixay KS, Vilavong S, Liew ECY, Duckitt GS, Burgess LW 2016. First report of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. niveum in the Lao PDR. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 11: 9.

Macedo DM, Pereira OL, Hora Júnior BT, Weir BS, Barreto RW 2016. Mycobiota of the weed Tradescantia fluminensis in its native range in Brazil with particular reference to classical biological control. Australasian Plant Pathology 45(1): 45–56.

Lopes-Santos L, Castro DBA, Ottoboni LMM, Park D, Weir BS, Destéfano SAL 2015. Draft genome sequence of Burkholderia andropogonis type strain ICMP2807, isolated from Sorghum bicolor. Genome Announcements 3(3): e00455-15.

Liu F, Weir BS, Damm U, Crous PW, Wang Y, Liu B, Wang M, Zhang M, Cai L 2015. Unravelling Colletotrichum species associated with Camellia: employing ApMat and GS loci to resolve species in the C. gloeosporioides complex. Persoonia 35: 63–86.

Taylor RK, Chapman JR, Romberg MK, Weir BS, Vanneste J, Everett R, Ward LI, Liefting LW, Lebas BSM, Alexander BJR 2014. Diagnostic challenges for the detection of emerging pathogens: a case study involving the incursion of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae in New Zealand. In: Gullino ML, Bonants PJM ed. Detection and diagnostics of plant pathogens. Plant Pathology in the 21st Century. 5. Dordrecht, Springer Netherlands. Pp. 71–86.

Weir B 2014. How to get good fungal and bacterial identifications from GenBank sequences. NZ Rhizobia., updated 29 October 2014.

Schoch CL, Robbertse B, Robert V, Vu D, Cardinali G, Irinyi L, Meyer W, Nilsson RH, Hughes KJD, Miller AN, Kirk PM, Abarenkov K, Aime MC, Ariyawansa HA, Bidartondo M, Boekhout T, Buyck B, Cai Q, Chen J, Crespo A, Crous PW, Damm U, De Beer ZW, Dentinger BTM, Divakar PK, Dueñas M, Feau N, Fliegerova K, García MA, Ge Z-W, Griffith GW, Groenewald JZ, Groenewald M, Grube M, Gryzenhout M, Gueidan C, Guo L, Hambleton S, Hamelin R, Hansen K, Hofstetter V, Hong S-B, Houbraken J, Hyde KD, Inderbitzin P, Johnston PR, Karunarathna SC, Kõljalg U, Kovács GM, Kraichak E, Krizsan K, Kurtzman CP, Larsson K-H, Leavitt S, Letcher PM, Liimatainen K, Liu J-K, Lodge DJ, Luangsa-ard JJ, Lumbsch HT, Maharachchikumbura SSN, Manamgoda D, Martín MP, Minnis AM, Moncalvo J-M, Mulè G, Nakasone KK, Niskanen T, Olariaga I, Papp T, Petkovits T, Pino-Bodas R, Powell MJ, Raja HA, Redecker D, Sarmiento-Ramirez JM, Seifert KA, Shrestha B, Stenroos S, Stielow B, Suh S-O, Tanaka K, Tedersoo L, Telleria MT, Udayanga D, Untereiner WA, Uribeondo JD, Subbarao KV, Vágvölgyi C, Visagie C, Voigt K, Walker DM, Weir BS, Weiß M, Wijayawardene NN, Wingfield MJ, Xu JP, Yang ZL, Zhang N, Zhuang W-Y, Federhen S 2014. Finding needles in haystacks: linking scientific names, reference specimens and molecular data for Fungi. Database 2014: bau061.

Dhami MK, Weir BS, Taylor MW, Beggs JR 2013. Diverse honeydew-consuming fungal communities associated with scale insects. PLOS One 8(7): e70316.

Cannon PF, Damm U, Johnston PR, Weir BS 2012. Colletotrichum - current status and future directions. Studies in mycology 73(1): 181-213.

Tan HW, Weir BS, Carter N, Heenan PB, Ridgway HJ, James EK, Sprent JI, Young JPW, Andrews M 2012. Rhizobia with 16S rRNA and nifH similar to Mesorhizobium huakuii but novel recA, glnII, nodA and nodC genes are symbionts of New Zealand Carmichaelinae. PLOS One 7(10): e47677.

Schoch CL, Seifert KA, Huhndorf S, Robert V, Spouge JL, Levesque CA, Chen W, Weir BS, Johnston PR, Park D, Consortium FB 2012. Nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region as a universal DNA barcode marker for Fungi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109(16): 6241-6246. WOS:000303246100068.

Hawksworth DL, Crous PW, Redhead SA, Reynolds DR, Samson R, Seifert KA, Taylor JW, Wingfield MJ, Johnston P, Pennycook SR, Weir B, al. e 2011. The Amsterdam declaration on fungal nomenclature. IMA fungus 2(1): 105-112.

Weir BS, Johnston PR 2010. Characterisation and neotypification of Gloeosporium kaki Hori as Colletotrichum horii nom. nov. Mycotaxon 111: 209-219.

Liefting LW, Sutherland PW, Ward LI, Paice KL, Weir BS, Clover GRG 2009. A new 'Candidatus Liberibacter' species associated with diseases of solanaceous crops. Plant disease 93(3): 208-214.

Graham AB, Johnston PR, Weir BS 2009. Three new Phaeoacremonium species on grapevines in New Zealand. Australasian plant pathology 38(5): 505-513. CCC:000268975700010.

Weir BS, Graham AB 2009. [Poster abstract] Simultaneous identification of multiple fungal pathogens and endophytes with database t-RFLP. Phytopathologia mediterranea 48(1): 163-164. ISI:000268263600032.

Weir BS, Turner SJ, Silvester WB, Park D-C, Young JA 2004. Unexpectedly diverse Mesorhizobium strains and Rhizobium leguminosarum nodulate native legume genera of New Zealand, while introduced legume weeds are nodulated by Bradyrhizobium species. Applied and environmental microbiology 70(10): 5980-5987.

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  • Zespri Crop Protection and Market Access Steering Group, Zespri
  • Leadership Group, EcoGene®
  • Professional Member, Royal Society New Zealand
  • Curator, ICMP culture collection
  • Treasurer and Webmaster, Fungal Network of New Zealand (FUNNZ)
  • Secretary, International Sub commission on Colletotrichum Taxonomy (ISTC)
  • Councillor, Australasian Mycological Society
  • Deputy Theme Leader, Theme 3 - Diagnostics, B3