Mr Aaron Maringa
|Noelani van den Berg|
|Dr Velushka Swart|
I completed a BSc and an honors degree in Microbiology in 2017 and 2018, respectively. My honors year marked the development of an exciting journey in research, where i took up a research project focused on evaluating the role of mating types in the morphology, pathogenicity and virulence of the soil-borne Oomycete, Phytopthora cinnamomi. With a special focus on isolates associated with the economically important Persea americana (Avocado) in South Africa. The project was carried out as part of the Avocado Research Programme (ARP), under the supervision of Professor Noëlani van den Berg.
I am currently enrolled for an MSc in Microbiology, where my research project focuses on investigating the adhesion of P. cinnamomi cysts on the surface of susceptible avocado roots. The ability of pathogens to adhere to the host surface serves a biologically important role in the early stages of infection. This is even more significant for species of Phytophthora where infection highly depends on motile biflagellate zoospores. Understanding how this process affects susceptibility of infected hosts will provide valuable insights into the biology and infection strategies of this devastating Oomycete.