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MSc student

Department

Genetics
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In 2009, I obtained a bachelors degree in Human Physiology, Psychology and Genetics at the University of Pretoria.

My strong interest in the fast developing field of Genetics, prompted me to complete an  Honours degree in Genetics in 2010.  This included a project under the supervision of Dr. V van Staden and Prof. H Huismans, investigating the sub-cellular localization of mutant NS3 protein of African Horsesickness virus (AHSV) in Sf9 cells, using electron microscopy.

In 2011 I joined the Fruit Tree Biotechnology Programme (FTBP) at the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, enrolled as an MSc student under the supervision of Dr. Noelani van den Berg and Prof. D Berger.  My project focused on the identification of avirlence genes in the hemi-biotrophic oomycete, Phytophthora cinnamomi - a root pathogen with avocado among its host range.  We produced the first cDNA library of the geminating cyst developmental stage of P. cinnamomi using the Illumina sequencing platform.  From this, we successfully indentified more than 2 000 unigenes that had a putative role in pathogenesis.  This work opens the door to understanding the molecular basis that is responsible for P. cinnamomi’s success as a wide host-range pathogen.

In September 2012, I was awarded the Genetics Otago Summer Scholarship.  This provided me with the opportunity to complete a 3 month research visit in the laboratory of Dr. Caroline Beck in Dunedin, NZ.  Her research focuses on elucidating the regenerative pathways active in the African clawed frog, Xenopus leavis.  During this time I gained knowledge about Xenopus husbandry and maintenance, generation of transgenic Xenopus lines and learned the technique of in sito hybridization.  I also used this opportunity to visit various other research leaders based in the Department of Genetics at the University of Otago.

http://www.otago.ac.nz/genetics/news/archive/otago043417.html


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Publication
Reitmann A, Berger DK, Van den Berg. (2017) Putative pathogenicity genes of Phytophthora cinnamomi identified via RNA-Seq analysis of pre-infection structures. European Journal of Plant Pathology 147(1):211-228. 10.1007/s10658-016-0993-8