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PhD student

Department

Genetics
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I want to understand the intricate yet dynamic nature of proteomics and how this relates to function(s). My PhD aims to contribute toward understanding the biosynthetic pathway of Eucalyptus wood development at a molecular level. Eucalyptus is commercially important source of pulp for the paper and raw cellulose industry. This tree species is also important in the biofuel and biomaterial industry. Specifically, my research focuses on the proteomic level of wood formation and how this level affects the phenotype of the cell wall.

 

I completed my Masters in Genetics entitled “Expression and characterization of full length and truncated versions of major outercapsid protein VP2 of bluetongue virus in bacterial and insect cells” under the supervision of Prof. Henk Huismans. This was a collaboration between BioPAD and University of Pretoria, aimed at assessing the viability of a potential subunit vaccine against the devastating bluetongue virus. I completed an Honours in Biochemistry at the University of KwaZulu Natal (Pietermaritzburg) where I focused on production of a viral antigen (Infectious bursal disease virus, VP2) for viral characterization, diagnostic and vaccine purposes.


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Publication
Mewalal R, Mizrachi E, Coetzee B, Mansfield SD, Myburg AA. (2016) The Arabidopsis Domain of Unknown Function 1218 (DUF1218) Containing Proteins, MODIFYING WALL LIGNIN-1 and 2 (At1g31720/MWL-1 and At4g19370/MWL-2) Function Redundantly to Alter Secondary Cell Wall Lignin Content. PLoS ONE 11(3):e0150254. 10.1371/journal.pone.0150254 PDF
Mir BA, Mewalal R, Mizrachi E, Myburg AA, Cowan DA. (2014) Recombinant hyperthermophilic enzyme expression in plants: a novel approach for lignocellulose digestion. Trends in Biotechnology 32(5):281–289. 10.1016/j.tibtech.2014.03.003
Mewalal R, Mizrachi E, Mansfield S, Myburg AA. (2014) Cell Wall-Related Proteins of Unknown Function: Missing Links in Plant Cell Wall Development. Plant and Cell Physiology 55 (6):1031-1043. 10.1093/pcp/pcu050