Mr Lukanyo Makhabane


Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
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I completed my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Plant Pathology) degree in 2019 at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. My honours project focused on the seed and aphid transmitted viruses infecting soybean in KwaZulu-Natal.The aim of the study was to identify Soybean mosaic virus (SMV), Bean common mosaic virus (BCMV) and Bean common mosaic necrosis virus (BCMNV) using molecular techniques. SMV, BCMV and BCMNV are economically important seed and aphid transmitted viruses infecting soybean.The results obtained in the study confirmed the presence of SMV, BCMV and bean leaf beetle transmitted Bean pod mottle virus.

I am currently doing my MSc degree in Microbiology, and my research study focuses in comparative genome-wide analysis of transposable elements (TEs) and genome defense mechanisims associated with their suppression in Armillaria species. The study seeks to comprehensively annotate TEs in assembled sequenced genomes of Armillaria spp. and extensively analyse Repeat Induced Point Mutation (RIP), Methylation Induced Premeiotically (MIP) and Quelling TEs silencing mechanisms. The study is expected to provide valuable insight about the role of TEs in pathogenicity and genome evolution of Armillaria. Furthermore, to shed light about the impact of RIP, MIP and Quelling in expansion of TEs within genomes of Armillaria. Information generated in this study will contribute to the body of knowledge about the biology of Armillaria. Such expansion in knowledge on how these pathogenic fungi causes Armillaria root rot disease will inspire improvement and development of sustainable control measures to minimise their impact  in forest plantations in South Africa and around the world.