Principal Investigator: Prof Dave Berger

Current team members at UP: Dr Boney Kuriakose, Dr Sonia Phillips , Dr Maryke Carstens, Jeanne Korsman, Nanette Coetzer, Adri Veale, Grieta Mahlangu, Monique Heystek, Thomas Schmidt, Ncobile Kunene, Irene Schoeman.

The project aims to identify genes and molecular markers linked to quantitative resistance to grey leaf spot disease in African maize varieties. The innovation is to combine classical quantitative genetic analysis, genetic mapping and global gene expression profiling. The power of including expression profiling using oligonucleotide microarrays is that it facilitates the identification of genes contributing to QTL for GLS resistance. Candidate genes and/or tightly linked molecular markers will be of enormous value to maize breeders for use in marker assisted selection of resistance traits. This project combines the skills of a number of experts in South Africa, and is one of the first expression QTL projects in the country. Establishing capacity in this technique will enable future work on additional favourable traits in crops for which global gene expression data are available.

 

Cercospora zeina cultures with emphasis on the conidiophores and conidia

 

Maize eQTL project team

 
 
 
 

Collaborators

 

 

MeQTL project field trip

 

Standing L - R: Felix Middelton (PANNAR), Monique Heystek (UP), Thomas Schmidt (UP), Mischa Muller (UP), Dave Berger (UP), Hlandiwe Gumede (UKZN ACCI)

Seated L - R: Shane Murray (CPGR), Bridget Crampton (UP)

 


Publications:

  • Korsman J, Meisel B, Kloppers FJ, Crampton BG and Berger DK (2012) Quantitative phenotyping of grey leaf spot disease in maize using real-time PCR. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 133(2) 461-471

  • Coetzer N, Myburg AA & D K Berger (2011) Maize Microarray Annotation Database. Plant Methods 7:31.

  • Meisel B, Korsman J, Kloppers FJ and Berger DK (2009) Cercospora zeina is the causal agent of grey leaf spot disease of maize in southern Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 124 (4) 577-583.

 

New Publications

Zumaquero A, Martinez-Ferri E, Matas AJ, Reeksting B, Olivier NA, Pliego-Alfaro F, Barcelo A, van den Berg N, Pliego C. (2019) Rosellinia necatrix infection induces differential gene expression between tolerant and susceptible avocado rootstocks. PLoS ONE 14(2):e0212359. 10.1371/journal.pone.0212359
Nsibo DL, Barnes I, Kunene NT, Berger DK. (2019) Influence of farming practices on the population genetics of the maize pathogen Cercospora zeina in South Africa. Fungal Genetics and Biology 125:36-44. 10.1016/j.fgb.2019.01.005
van den Berg N, Mohamed W, Olivier NA, Swart V, Crampton B. (2018) Transcriptome analysis of an incompatible Persea americana-Phytophthora cinnamomi interaction reveals the involvement of SA- and JA-pathways in a successful defense response. PLoS ONE 13(10):e0205705. 10.1371/journal.pone.0205705
Read DA, Featherstone J, Rees DJG, Thompson GD, Roberts R, Flett BC, Mashingaidze K, Berger DK, Welgemoed T, Pietersen G, Schulze SE, Kiula B, Kullaya A, Mbega E. (2018) First report of maize yellow mosaic virus (MaYMV) on maize (Zea mays) in Tanzania. Journal of Plant Pathology 1:1. 10.1007/s42161-018-0152-5
Viljoen E, Odeny DA, Coetzee MPA, Berger DK, Rees DJG. (2018) Application of Chloroplast Phylogenomics to Resolve Species Relationships Within the Plant Genus Amaranthus. Journal of Molecular Evolution 86(3-4):216-239. 10.1007/s00239-018-9837-9
Liversage J, Coetzee MPA, Bluhm BH, Berger DK, Crampton BG. (2018) LOVe across kingdoms: Blue light perception vital for growth and development in plant–fungal interactions. Fungal Biology Reviews 32(2):86-103. 10.1016/j.fbr.2017.11.003
Wingfield BD, Berger DK, Steenkamp ET, Lim H-J, Duong TA, Bluhm BH, De Beer ZW, De Vos L, Fourie G, Naidoo K, Olivier NA, Lin Y, Van der Peer Y, Joubert F, Crampton BG, Swart V, Soal N, Tatham C, Van der Nest MA, Van der Merwe NA, Van Wyk S, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ. (2017) IMA Genome-F 8 Draft genome of Cercospora zeina, Fusarium pininemorale, Hawksworthiomyces lignivorus, Huntiella decipiens and Ophiostoma ips. IMA Fungus 8 (2):385‑396. 10.5598/imafungus.2017.08.02.10
Meyer J, Berger DK, Christensen SA, Murray SL. (2017) RNA-Seq analysis of resistant and susceptible sub-tropical maize lines reveals a role for kauralexins in resistance to grey leaf spot disease, caused by Cercospora zeina. BMC Plant Biology 17:197. 10.1186/s12870-017-1137-9
Amuge T, Berger DK, Katari MS, Myburg AA, Goldman SL, Ferguson ME. (2017) A time series transcriptome analysis of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) varieties challenged with Ugandan cassava brown streak virus. Scientific Reports 7:9747. 10.1038/s41598-017-09617-z
Swart V, Crampton BG, Ridenour JB, Bluhm BH, Olivier NA, Meyer JJM, Berger DK. (2017) Complementation of CTB7 in the maize pathogen Cercospora zeina overcomes the lack of in vitro cercosporin production. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 30(9):710-724. 10.1094/MPMI-03-17-0054-R
Zwart L, Berger DK, Moleleki LN, Van der Merwe NA, Myburg AA, Naidoo S. (2017) Evidence for salicylic acid signalling and histological changes in the defence response of Eucalyptus grandis to Chrysoporthe austroafricana. Scientific Reports 7:45402. 10.1038/srep45402 PDF
Christie N, Myburg AA, Joubert F, Murray SL, Carstens M, Lin Y-C, Meyer J, Crampton BG, Christensen SA, Ntuli JF, Wighard SS, Van de Peer Y, Berger DK. (2017) Systems genetics reveals a transcriptional network associated with susceptibility in the maize-gray leaf spot pathosystem. The Plant Journal 89(4):746-763. 10.1111/tpj.13419
Reitmann A, Berger DK, van den Berg N. (2017) Putative pathogenicity genes of Phytophthora cinnamomi identified via RNA-Seq analysis of pre-infection structures. European Journal of Plant Pathology 147(1):211-228. 10.1007/s10658-016-0993-8
Human MP, Barnes I, Craven M, Crampton BG. (2016) Lack of population structure and mixed reproduction modes in Exserohilum turcicum from South Africa. Phytopathology 106(11):1386-1392. 10.1094/PHYTO-12-15-0311-R
Muller MF, Barnes I, Kunene NT, Crampton BG, Bluhm B, Phillips S, Olivier NA, Berger DK. (2016) Cercospora zeina from maize in South Africa exhibits high genetic diversity and lack of regional population differentiation. Phytopathology 106(10):1194-1205. 10.1094/PHYTO-02-16-0084-FI
Oelofse D, Gazendam I, Veale A, Djami-Tchatchou A, Berger D, Dubery I. (2016) Functional characterization of a defense-related class-III chitinase promoter from Lupinus albus, active in legume and monocot tissues. European Journal of Plant Pathology 146(4):923-936. 10.1007/s10658-016-0970-2
Daru B, Berger DK, Van Wyk AE. (2016) Opportunities for unlocking the potential of genomics for African trees. New Phytologist 210:772-778. 10.1111/nph.13826
Meyer FE, Shuey LS, Ramsuchit S, Mamni T, Berger DK, van den Berg N, Myburg AA, Naidoo S. (2016) Dual RNA-sequencing of Eucalyptus nitens during Phytophthora cinnamomi challenge reveals pathogen and host factors influencing compatibility. Frontiers in Plant Science 7:191. 10.3389/fpls.2016.00191 PDF
Meyer J, Murray SL, Berger DK. (2016) Signals that stop the rot: Regulation of secondary metabolite defences in cereals. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 94:156-166. 10.1016/j.pmpp.2015.05.011 PDF
Ronishree Magwanda, Lizahn Zwart, Nicolaas A. van der Merwe, Lucy Moleleki, Dave Kenneth Berger, Alexander A. Myburg, Sanushka Naidoo. (2016) Localization and Transcriptional Responses of Chrysoporthe austroafricana in Eucalyptus grandis Identify Putative Pathogenicity Factors. Front. Microbiol. 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01953
Carstens M, Berger DK. 2016. Biotechnology and Crop Disease Resistance in South Africa. In: Biotechnology for Plant Disease Control. Collinge DB. (eds). Wiley, New York and London, pp 16 (Chapter).
Reeksting B, Olivier N.A, van den Berg N. (2016) Transcriptome responses of an ungrafted Phytophthora root rot tolerant avocado (Persea americana) rootstock to flooding and Phytophthora cinnamomi. BMC Plant Biology 16(205) 10.1186/s12870-016-0893-2
Hussey SG, Mizrachi E, Groover A, Berger DK, Myburg AA. (2015) Genome-wide mapping of histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation in Eucalyptus grandis developing xylem. BMC Plant Biology 15:117. 10.1186/s12870-015-0499-0 PDF
Mizrachi E, Maloney VJ, Silberbauer J, Hefer CA, Berger DK, Mansfield SD, Myburg AA. (2014) Investigating the molecular underpinnings underlying morphology and changes in carbon partitioning during tension wood formation in Eucalyptus. New Phytologist 204(6):1351-1363. 10.1111/nph.13152
Berger DK, Carstens M, Korsman JN, Middleton F, Kloppers FJ, Tongoona P, Myburg AA. (2014) Mapping QTL conferring resistance in maize to gray leaf spot disease caused by Cercospora zeina. BMC Genetics 15:60. 10.1186/1471-2156-15-60
Haasbroek MP, Craven M, Barnes I, Crampton BG. (2014) Microsatellite and mating type primers for the maize and sorghum pathogen, Exserohilum turcicum. Australasian Plant Pathology 43(5):577-581. 10.1007/s13313-014-0289-4 PDF
Phillips S, Dubery I, Heerden H. (2013) Molecular characterisation of two homoeologous elicitor-responsive lipin genes in cotton. Molecular Genetics and Genomics 288:519-533. 10.1007/s00438-013-0770-8
Van der Linden L, Bredenkamp J, Naidoo S, Fouche-Weich J, Denby KJ, Genin S, Marco Y, Berger DK. (2013) Gene-for-Gene Tolerance to Bacterial Wilt in Arabidopsis. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 26:398-406. 10.1094/MPMI-07-12-0188-R
Phillips S, Dubery I, Heerden H. (2013) Identification and molecular characterisatin of a Lectin Receptor-like Kinase (GhLecRK-2) from cotton. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 31(1):9-20. 10.1007/s11105-012-0470-2
Naidoo R, Ferreira L, Berger DK, Myburg AA, Naidoo S. (2013) The identification and differential expression of Eucalyptus grandis pathogenesis-related genes in response to salicylic acid and methyl jasmonate. Frontiers in Plant Science 4:43. 10.3389/fpls.2013.00043