Ms Zinhle Annah-Gloria Nxumalo
Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
I graduated from Witwatersrand University with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and a Higher Diploma in Computer Science. Thereafter, I obtained my BSc. Honors in Crop Sciences at the University of Pretoria, my research project focused on the microbiome of mango fruits from production to consumption. This study was aimed at bridging the knowledge gap on the composition (surface and stem-end) of mango microbiome and how its dynamics are affected during the pre- and post-harvest stages of production and how this influences the occurrence of pathogens on the fruit. I am currently conducting research for a MSc. degree in Microbiology.
My MSc research focusses on terpene synthase protein, which play a fundamental role in the production of metabolism molecules called terpenes, including defence pathways for plants and animals. Therefore, the aim of the project is to identify Ascomycota species (those that have a mutualistic relationship with plants) that express terpene synthase and also look into other significant in-house genes. This will help in identifying potential species that can be used to help in plant sustainability.