Dr Antoinette van Schalkwyk, Dr Boney Kuriakose, Erika Viljoen

Quality and wholesomeness of food and food products are two issues addressed prominently by society especially in relation to obesity (and atherosclerosis), the most important cause of cardiovascular disease and age-related diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. Module 2 is dedicated to screen tomato and potato for variation in levels and/or composition of antioxidants, other health-related nutraceuticals and minerals. This involves targeted analyses of (i) antioxidant metabolites, such as carotenoids, vitamin C and E, flavonoids and other phenolics, (ii) folate and (iii) minerals, such as Fe and Zn, as well as an untargeted screening for (novel) antioxidants. Genes/QTLs responsible for the formation and accumulation of these nutraceuticals will be mapped and screened. Subsequently the molecular and regulatory mechanisms underlying the biosynthesis, accumulation and degradation of these metabolites, using all available X-omics technologies, will be elucidated. The most relevant traits (metabolites) and genotypes will be identified for further analysis and the influence of development (fruit, tuber) and growing conditions assessed on these traits. Tomato and potato collections will be profiled for neutraceuticals and the most relevant traits and lines identified and confirmed for breeding.


For further information visit the EU-SOL webpage.

New Publications

Human MP, Berger DK, Crampton BG. (2020) Time-course RNAseq reveals Exserohilum turcicum effectors and pathogenicity determinants. Frontiers in Microbiology 11(360) 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00360
Welgemoed T, Pierneef R, Sterck L, Van de Peer Y, Swart V, Scheepers KD, Berger DK. (2020) De novo assembly of transcriptomes from a B73 maize line introgressed with a QTL for resistance to gray leaf spot disease reveals a candidate allele of a lectin receptor-like kinase. Frontiers in Plant Science http://bit.ly/2SmKPmT
Devnarain N, Crampton BG, Olivier N, van der Westhuizen C, Becker JVW, O'Kennedy MM. (2019) Transcriptomic analysis of a Sorghum bicolour landrace identifies a role for beta-alanine betaine biosynthesis in drought tolerance.. South African Journal of Botany 127 10.1016/j.sajb.2019.08.049
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