Prof Jacquie van der Waals

Associate Professor


Plant and Soil Sciences
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Research Profiles

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My main research focus is the epidemiology, diagnosis and control of soil- and seed-borne diseases of potatoes. Diseases currently being investigated in my research programme include powdery scab (Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea), black scurf and stem canker (Rhizoctonia solani), and blackleg and soft rot (Pectobacterium and Dickeya spp.). Soil-borne diseases are one of the most limiting factors in the production of potatoes and thus the main focus of the Potato Pathology Programme @ UP is understanding these pathogens and epidemiology of the diseases in order to improve management in the field. In order to do this, various techniques are combined to better understand disease spread and development in the field, interaction of host and pathogen, and ultimately use this information to provide growers with a risk assessment for the disease under consideration. I am also currently supervising students investigating the role of crop rotation on soil health and the effect thereof on pathogen inoculum in the soil, using a metagenomics approach. This is a collaborative project between Potatoes South Africa, Grain South Africa and the Centre of Excellence in Food Security.

I have strong collaborations with researchers in Scotland, The Netherlands, Israel, Poland and the USA, and also work closely with numerous South African colleagues at UP, UOFS and the Agricultural Research Council.

UP Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic

Selected publications:

Lekota, M., Modisane, K.J., Apostolides, Z., van der Waals, J.E. 2020. Metabolomic fingerprinting of potato cultivars differing in susceptibility to Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea root infection. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, 3788; doi:10.3390/ijms21113788

Simango, K., Slabbert, C., van der Waals, J.E. 2020. Alternative hosts of Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea in southern Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology

Muzhinji, N., van der Waals, J.E. 2019. Population biology and genetic variation of Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea, the causal pathogen of powdery scab and root galls on potatoes in South Africa. Phytopathology

Jordaan, E., McLaren, N.W., van der Waals, J.E. 2019. Effect of irrigation on charcoal rot severity, yield loss and colonization of soybean and sunflower. Crop Protection 122: 63-69

Lekota, M., Muzhinji, N., van der Waals, J.E. 2019. Identification of differentially expressed genes in tolerant and susceptible potato cultivars in response to Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea tuber infection. Plant Pathology 68:1196-1206 doi: 10.1111/ppa.13029

Dube, J.P., Valverde, A., Steyn. J.M., Cowan, D., van der Waals, J.E. 2019. Differences in bacterial diversity, composition and function due to long-term agriculture in soils in the Eastern Free State of South Africa. Diversity 11, 61; doi:10.3390/d11040061

Gush, S.-L., Muzhinji, M., Truter, M., & van der Waals, J.E. 2019. First report of Rhizoctonia solani AG 2-2IIIB causing elephant hide on potato tubers in South Africa. Plant Disease

Kandolo, S.D., Aveling, T.A.S., van der Waals, J.E., Truter, M. & Laurie, S.M. 2018. Effects of wetness duration, inoculum concentration and temperature on the development of Alternaria blight on transplants of sweet potato. Acta Horticulturae 27: 211–217.

Zimudzi, J., van der Waals, J.E., Coutinho, T.A., Cowan, D.A. & Valverde, A. 2018. Temporal shifts of fungal communities in the rhizosphere and on tubers in potato fields. Fungal Biology122: 928-934.

Muzhinji, M., Woodhall, J.W., Truter, M. & van der Waals, J.E. 2018. Variation in fungicide sensitivity among Rhizoctonia isolates recovered from potatoes in South Africa. Plant Disease  102: 1520-1526.

Shutt, V.M., Shin, G., van der Waals, J.E., Goszczynska, T. & Coutinho, T.A. 2018. Characterization of Ralstonia strains infecting tomato plants in South Africa. Crop Protection 112: 56-62.

Muzhinji, M., Woodhall, J.W., Truter, M. & van der Waals, J.E. 2018. Relative contribution of seed tuber- and soilborne inoculum to potato disease development and changes in the population genetic structure of Rhizoctonia solani AG 3-PT under field conditions in South Africa. Plant Disease 102: 60-66.

Zimudzi, J. Coutinho, T.A. & van der Waals, J.E. 2017. Pathogenicity of fungi isolated from atypical skin blemishes on potatoes in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Potato Research 60: 119-144.

Simango, K. & van der Waals, J.E. 2017. Effects of different soil treatments on the development of Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea in potato roots and tubers in the greenhouse. Potato Research 60:47-60

Muzhinji, M., Woodhall, J.W., Truter, M. & van der Waals, J.E. 2016. Population genetic structure of Rhizoctonia solani AG 3-PT from potatoes in South Africa. Fungal Biology 120: 701-710.

Van der Waals, J.E., Steyn, J.M., Franke, A.C., Haverkort, A.J. 2016. Grower perceptions of biotic and abiotic risks of potato production in South Africa. Crop Protection 84: 44-55

Jordaan, E. & van der Waals, J.E. 2016. Streptomyces species associated with common scab lesions of potatoes in South Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology 144: 631 - 643.

Du Raan, S., Coutinho, T.A. & van der Waals, J.E. 2016. Cardinal temperature differences, determined in vitro, between closely related species and subspecies of pectinolytic bacteria responsible for blackleg and soft rot on potatoes. European Journal of Plant Pathology 144: 361 - 369.

Muzhinji, M., Woodhall, J.W., Truter, M. & van der Waals, J.E. 2015. Anastomosis groups and pathogenicity of Rhizoctonia solani and binucleate Rhizoctonia from potatoes in South Africa. Plant Disease 99: 1790 - 1802.

Van der Waals, J.E., Franke, A.C., Haverkort, A.J., Krüger, K. & Steyn, J.M. 2013. Climate change and potato production in South Africa. 3. Effects on relative development rates of selected pests and pathogens. Potato Research 56: 67-84

Wright, J., Lees, A.K., van der Waals, J.E. 2012. Detection and eradication of Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterraneain mini-tuber production tunnels. South African Journal of Science, 108 (5/6) Art #614

Van der Merwe, J.J., Coutinho, T.A., Korsten, L. & van der Waals, J.E. 2010. Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. brasiliensis causing blackleg on potatoes in South Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology 126 (2): 175-185.


Export to RIS
Mushonga K, Steyn JM, Swart WJ, van der Waals JE. (2020) Plant-soil feedback responses of four dryland crop species under greenhouse conditions. Plant-Environment Interactions 10.1002/pei3.10035 PDF
van der Waals JE, Kruger K. (2020) Emerging potato pathogens affecting food security in southern Africa: Recent research. South African Journal of Science 116(11/12) 10.17159/ PDF
Moleboheng M, Modisane KJ, Apostolides Z, van der Waals JE. (2020) Metabolomic Fingerprinting of Potato Cultivars Differing in Susceptibility to Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea Root Infection. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21:3788. 10.3390/ijms21113788 PDF
Simango K, Slabbert C, van der Waals JE. (2020) Alternative hosts of Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea in southern Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology In Press 10.1007/s10658-020-01993-z
Mbedzi PP, Van den Hooven L, Vorster BJ , Van der Waals J. (2019) Screening for Sclerotinia sclerotiorum resistance using detached leaf assays and simple sequence repeat markers in soybean cultivars. Crop Protection 215:104909. 10.1016/j.cropro.2019.104909 PDF
Gush S, Muzhinji M, Truter M, Van der Waals JE. (2019) First Report of Rhizoctonia solani AG 2-2IIIB Causing Elephant Hide on Potato Tubers in South Africa. Plant Disease 103(7) 10.1094/PDIS-10-18-1850-PDN
Muzhinji N, van der Waals JE. (2019) Population biology and genetic variation of Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea, the cause of powdery scab and root galls on potato in South Africa. . Phytopathology 10.1094/PHYTO-12-18-0467-R PDF
Shutt VM, Shin G, van der Waals JE, Goszczynska T, Coutinho T. (2018) Characterization of Ralstonia strains infecting tomato plants in South Africa. Crop Protection 112:56-62. 10.1016/j.cropro.2018.05.013