Ms Catherina Ngongni-Kuetezang

MSc student


Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
Short CV
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Primary Supervisor
David Livingstone Nsibo

Co Supervisor
Yusuf Abdullahi Ahmed

My MSc in bioinformatics focuses on Exserohilum turcicum, an economically significant plant pathogenic fungal species which is a direct causal agent of the northern corn leaf blight (NCLB), a foliar disease of maize (Zea mays L.), sorghum (sorghum bicolor) and other related grass species. Maize and sorghum are the world’s most important cereal crops, and considered as the most important staple food in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The prevalence of the NCLB disease results in significant yield loss in maize and sorghum. Various management strategies have been proposed to control E. turcicum infection in crops with identified resistance mechanisms in  E. turcicum

However, there is limited knowledge regarding the secondary metabolites produced by E. turcicum, despites its significant negative impact on cereal crops.  There is a need to extensively study the pathosystem of E. turcicum by predicting and characterizing its secondary metabolites. Hence, my project aims to characterize the secondary metabolites of E. turcicum and their corresponding gene clusters to identify the secondary metabolite product produced and its function in host pathogenicity. This study will enhance our understanding of secondary metabolites biosynthetic gene cluster in E. turcicum and provide more insight into the pathogenic mechanisms of E. turcicum on host plants, enabling development of new approaches in disease management.

This will be done under the supervision of Dr. David Nsibo, Dr. Rian Pierneef  and Prof. Yusuf Abdullahi.