Current Projects - Grey leaf spot disease of maize (see individual MPPI student project profiles)

  • Molecular basis of virulence in the fungus Cercospora zeina that causes GLS disease of maize
  • RNA interference (RNAi) for control of C. zeina
  • Population genomics of C. zeina on the African continent
  • Maize candidate genes for resistance and susceptibility to GLS disease
  • Impact of climate change on maize GLS disease
  • Maize tolerance to the fall armyworm pest

Completed Projects:

New Publications

Nsibo DL, Barnes I, Omondi DO, Dida MM, Berger DK. (2021) Population genetic structure and migration patterns of the maize pathogenic fungus, Cercospora zeina in East and Southern Africa. Fungal Genetics and Biology (103527) 10.1016/j.fgb.2021.103527
Aveling TAS, De Ridder K, Olivier NA, Berger DK. (2020) Seasonal variation in mycoflora associated with asymptomatic maize grain from small-holder farms in two provinces of South Africa. Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics (JARTS) 121(2):265-275. 10.17170/kobra-202011262275 PDF
Berger DK, Mokgobu T, De Ridder K, Christie N, Aveling TAS. (2020) Benefits of maize resistance breeding and chemical control against northern leaf blight in smallholder farms in South Africa. South African Journal of Science 12(11) 10.17159/sajs.2020/8286
Welgemoed T, Pierneef R, Read DA, Schulze SE, Pietersen G, Berger DK. (2020) Next generation sequencing reveals past and current widespread occurrence of maize yellow mosaic virus in South Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology 158(1):237-249. 10.1007/s10658-020-02070-1
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
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. (2019) First report of maize yellow mosaic virus (MaYMV) on maize (Zea mays) in Tanzania. Journal of Plant Pathology 101:203. 10.1007/s42161-018-0152-5