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PhD student

Department

Plant Sciences
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Primary Supervisor
Dr Bridget Crampton
Dr Eugene Makgopa
Bridget Crampton

I obtained my BSc degree in Biotechnology majoring in Microbiology in 2011 and went on to complete BSc Hons in Plant Biotechnology in 2012; both degrees are from the University of Pretoria. During my honours year, I gained an interest in working with fungi and enrolled for MSc Biotechnology in the Plant Science department at the University of Pretoria.

My research focused on the characterization of a fungal effector gene through gene knockout studies under the supervision of Dr Bridget Crampton. This will be achieved through an introduction of a splitmarker construct into C. zeina protoplasts. Regenerated protoplasts will be screened to ensure the pathogenicity gene is knocked out, and thereafter knockout transformants will be assessed for their pathogenicity on maize.

I’m currently enrolled for PhD in Biotechnology in the Plant Science department at the University of Pretoria. My research focuses on characterizing the role of protease inhibitors during biotic and abiotic stresses. The aim of this study is to assess the involvement of protease inhibitors in response to drought stress and E. turcicum infection in maize crop.

Together with the Cereal Foliar Pathogen Research group (CPRG), the main aim of the research is to understand the pathogenesis of Exserohilum turcicum which causes northern corn leaf blight disease in Africa. Understanding the pathogenesis of E. turcicum will aid in finding ways toward improving maize resistance to this disease.