Dr Robert Backer



Postdoctoral Fellow

Department

Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
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I first came to FABI in 2012. I am currently registered as a Postdoctoral Fellow under the supervision of Prof. Noëlani van den Berg in the Avocado Research Programme (ARP). The molecular basis of Persea americana (avocado) resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi is poorly understood, thus my work focuses on the NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENES 1 (NPR1) gene family in avocado. Our work has already identified interesting differences between partially resistant and susceptible rootstock cultivars. It is our hope that understanding the role of NPR1 and related pathways in avocado will assist in the development of novel P. cinnamomi control strategies.

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Publication
Backer R, Naidoo S, van den Berg N. (2019) The NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENES 1 (NPR1) and Related Family: Mechanistic Insights in Plant Disease Resistance. Frontiers in Plant Science 10:102. 10.3389/fpls.2019.00102
Backer R, Mahomed W, Reeksting B, Engelbrecht J, Ibarra-Laclette E, van den Berg N. (2015) Phylogenetic and expression analysis of the NPR1-like gene family from Persea americana (Mill.). Frontiers in Plant Science 6:300. 10.3389/fpls.2015.00300