Mr Aaron Maringa



MSc student

Department

FABI
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Primary Supervisor
Noelani van den Berg

Co Supervisor
Dr Velushka Swart

My Links

My research interests are currently in the interactions of plant pathogens with their host plants at the very early stages of infection. I am a highly motivated individual who has always been greatly intrigued by the ever changing world of science, more especially the field of biological sciences.   A good example being the field of plant pathology and microbiology, which provide the opportunity to explore the continues warfare between plants and pathogens. These fields of study have created various opportunities to explore and understand the mechanisms governing compatible and incompatible interactions in these pathosystems.   Phytophthora cinnamomi, a soil borne oomycete, which presents a major challenge in the Persea americana (avocado) industry, and acts as one of the significant limiting factors in the production of this highly nutritious fruit; especially in countries that are responsible for its high production, including South Africa.   The main infection structures of this pathogen are motile zoospores which need to encyst and adhere to the host surface in order for the pathogen to progress through its developmental stages which influence its pathogenecity.   I completed my undergraduate and honors degrees in Microbiology at the University of Pretoria in 2017nqnd 2018, respectively.    I am currently pursuing an MSc in Microbiology as part of the avocado research program (ARP).    The ability for pathogens to successfully adhere to a host surface is a key step in their pathogenicity. It is therefore crucial to understand the factors that govern this process of attachment in the early stages of infection.   My current MSc project explores this process and investigates the adhesion of encysted P. cinnamomi zoospores on the surface of avocado roots.   Through examining the adhesion of encysted zoospores on the surface of avocado we can build on our knowledge of understanding the role of proteins that influence the successful attachment of this pathogen to avocado. This study has has the potential to reveal key targets that may be explored to control this pathogen at the very early stages of infection. Hindering the ability of encysted zoospores to attach tp the surface of avocado roots can potentially impede its ability to cause cause disease on avocado.