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FABI in a nutshell

Research Features

Phytophthora root rot (PRR) is the most severe and damaging disease in avocado plantations in South Africa. The causal agent, Phytophthora cinnamomi, is an oomycete that also causes disease on thousands of other plant species. The pathogen is a heterothallic species that can reproduce by sexual or asexual means. It can persist in soil or infected plant material for extended periods of time, and there is no means to eradicate this oomycete from infected areas once the pathogen has successfully established in soils. Currently, phosphite injections, along with the use of good agricultural practices, are commonly used as methods of control for PRR.

Given the severity of the disease, however, little is known regarding the biology, population diversity, and the molecular basis for the P. cinnamomi - avocado interaction. Current research of ARP therefore focuses on characterizing the genetic diversity and monitoring pathogen populations using microsatellite markers, and using genomics and genetics tools to characterize effectors genes (RxLR and Crinkler) as well as other genes that are known to contribute to the pathogenicity of the oomycete. The sensitivity and effectiveness of phosphite control and its mode of action towards P. cinnamomi is also being investigated.

 

 * Read more about Phytophthora cinnamomi on our Fact sheet here.

 

ARP Team Members

Katelyn Baird: Characterising the role of Phytophthora cinnamomi NLP proteins in plant cell infection.

Ncobile Kunene: Development of a transformation system for Phytophthora cinnamomi.

Kayla Midgley: Characterising the role of Phytophthora cinnamomi CRN effector proteins in host plant cell death.

Susanna Anbu: Expression profiling of Nep-like protein (NLP) effector genes during infection in avocado.

 

 

New Publications

Marais I, Buitendag C, Duong TA, Crampton BG, Theron J, Kidanemarium D, Berger DK. (2024) Double-stranded RNA uptake for the control of the maize pathogen Cercospora zeina. Plant Pathology Online first:1-11. 10.1111/ppa.13909
van Heerden A, Pham NQ, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Muro Abad JI, Durán A, Wilken PM. (2024) LAMP assay to detect Elsinoë necatrix; an important Eucalyptus shoot and leaf pathogen. Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-01-24-0086-RE
Silva GA, Oliveira MES, Rêgo GMS, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Ferreira MA. (2024) Chrysoporthe brasiliensis sp. nov. pathogenic to Melastomataceae in southeast Brazil. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2024.04.001
Fick A, Swart V, Bombarely A, van den Berg N. (2024) Comparative transcriptional analysis of Persea americana MYB, WRKY and AP2/ERF transcription factors following Phytophthora cinnamomi infection. Molecular Plant Pathology 25(4):e13453. 10.1111/mpp.13453 PDF
Van Lill M, Venter SN, Muema EK, Palmer M., Beukes CW, Chan WY, Steenkamp ET. (2024) SeqCode facilitates naming of South African rhizobia left in limbo. Systematics and Applied Microbiology 47(2-3):126504. 10.1016/j.syapm.2024.126504 PDF
Visagie CM, Meyer H, Yilmaz N. (2024) Maize–Fusarium associations and their mycotoxins: Insights from South Africa. Fungal Biology 10.1016/j.funbio.2024.03.009
Elisa P, Allison J, Hurley BP, Slippers B, Fourie G. (2024) Lethal and sublethal effects of insecticides on Bathycoelia distincta (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae). African Entomology 32: e16992:1-9. 10.17159/2254-8854/2024/a16992
Pietersen G, Morgan S, Read DA. (2024) First report of Citrus concave gum-associated virus (CCGaV) on apple (Malus spp.) in South Africa. Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s42161-024-01629-9
Dankie VN, Steenkamp ET, De Vos L, Swalarsk-Parry BS, Dewing C, Fru F, Wilken PM, Mchunu NP, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, van der Nest MA. (2024) Growth, pathogenicity and sexual fertility of the African tree pathogen Ceratocystis albifundus. Journal of Plant Pathology :1-11. 10.1007/s42161-024-01634-y
Abkallo HM, Arbuthnot P, Auer TO, Berger DK, Burger J, Chakauya E, Concordet J-P, Diabate A, Di Donato V, Groenewald J-H, Guindo A, Koekemoer LL, Nazare F, Nolan T, Okumu F, Orefuwa E, Paemka L, Prieto-Godino L, Runo S, Sadler M, Tesfaye K, Tripathi L, Wondji C. (2024) Making genome editing a success story in Africa. Nature Biotechnology :1-4. https://rdcu.be/dBJUa