Ms Tsakani Miyambo
Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
|Noelani van den Berg|
I am currently studying my masters degree in genetics, part of the Fruit Tree Biotechnology Program (FTBP). My interest in plant - pathogen interactions has led me to join this research group. My main research project is based on the cell-wall degrading enzyme, polygalacturonase, which has been shown to be secreted by a variety of pathogens during the infection process. In particular, I will be looking at the polygalacturonases secreted by the oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomi, during infection. Furthermore, I will be studying the pathogenesis related proteins, polygalacturonase - inhibiting proteins (PGIPs), which are secreted by the plant to counteract the activity of polygalacturonases, and defend themselves against the pathogen. I will be focusing on PGIPs in Pesea Americana (avocado). This research will assist in better understanding the plant - pathogen interactions that take place between P. cinnamomi and avocado.