Ms Susanna Anbu
Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
|Noelani van den Berg|
My research focuses on the functional characterization of NLR resistance proteins in avocado that are implicated in the defence response against Phytophthora cinnamomi infection. This will be assessed via the hypersensitive response induced during activation of avocado immunity.
I started my journey with FABI in second year as a mentorship student in the Forest Molecular (FMG) group where my work involved elucidating the functional roles of secondary cell wall genes in Arabidopsis and Populus. At the beginning of third year I joined the Molecular Plant-Pathogen Interactions (MPPI) group to work on annotating images of maize leaves for symptoms of Cercospora zeina as part of a bioinformatics project that sought to develop a software for on-field maize disease diagnosis. In the latter part of the mentorship I worked under the supervision of Dr. Dave Nsibo where I was tasked with performing single-spore isolations of Exserohilum turcicum from maize leaf samples collected in three geographical locations in South Africa for later population genetics studies. In my third year I worked in the Eucalyptus and Pine Pathogen Interactions (EPPI) group to assist with a project that sought to develop a RT-qPCR tool to quantify the fungal load of Fusarium circinatum on pine cultivars.
I completed my honours in 2022 where my project focused on characterizing a group of apopoplastic effectors known as Nep-like Proteins (NLP) in Phytophthora cinnamomi and determine gene expression profiles for candidate PcNLP genes during infection of avocados.
A workshop on Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of spore-producing fungi was presented at FABI by Katharina Gasser from BOKU, Austria
A hearty congratulations to all the FABI graduates that were capped at the recent University of Pretoria Autumn Graduation ceremony!