Dr Aquillah Kanzi



Postdoctoral Fellow

Department

Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
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The structure, organization, function and evolution of genomes provides a basis for understanding living organisms. 

Currently, I am investigating the mitochondrial genomes of various ascomycetes. The function of mitochondrial DNA in respiration and oxidative phosphorylation is well conserved. In contrast, the genome structure, organization and gene content is extraordinarily diverse. My research is therefore, focused on comparative genomic analyses of the mitochondrial genomes of these fungi to provide insights on the genetic and evolutionary factors driving this diversity. Some of these factors have been associated with fungal virulence thus, this research may have implications for understanding fungal pathogenicity. To achieve the objectives of this research project, various bioinformatics and genomic analyses approaches will be used. 

My previous research focused on the comparative genomic analysis of Chrysoporthe species. Chrysoporthe species are notorious canker causing pathogens in Eucalyptus and related species in South Africa and around the world.

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Publication
Kanzi AM, Wingfield BD, Steenkamp ET, Naidoo S, Van der Merwe NA. (2016) Intron derived size polymorphism in the mitochondrial genomes of closely related Chrysoporthe species. PLOS ONE 11(6):e0156104. 10.1371/journal.pone.0156104
Musyoka TM, Kanzi AM, Lobb KA, Tastan Bishop Ö. (2016) Structure Based Docking and Molecular Dynamic Studies of Plasmodial Cysteine Proteases against a South African Natural Compound and its Analogs. Scientific Reports 10.1038/srep23690.
Wingfield BD, Barnes I, De Beer ZW, De Vos L, Duong TA, Kanzi AM, Naidoo K, Nguyen HDT, Santana QC, Sayari M, Seifert KA, Steenkamp ET, Trollip C, Van der Merwe N, Van der Nest MA, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ. (2015) Draft genome sequences of Ceratocystis eucalypticola, Chrysoporthe cubensis, C. deuterocubensis, Davidsoniella virescens, Fusarium temperatum, Graphilbum fragrans, Penicillium nordicum, and Thielaviopsis musarum. IMA Fungus 6(2):493-506. 10.5598/imafungus.2015.06.02.13 PDF
Thomas AM, Kanzi AM, Lobb KA, Tastan Bishop Ö. (2015) Analysis of Non-Peptidic Compounds as Potential Malarial Inhibitors against Plasmodial Cysteine Proteases via Integrated Virtual Screening Workflow. Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics 15 10.1080/07391102.2015.1108231
Wingfield BD, Ades PK, Al-Naemi FA, Beirn LA, Bihon W, Crouch JA, De Beer ZW, De Vos L, Duong TA, Fields CJ, Fourie G, Kanzi AM, Malapi-Wight M, Pethybridge SJ, Radwan O, Rendon G, Slippers B, Santana QC, Steenkamp ET, Taylor PWJ, Vaghefi N, Van der Merwe NA, Veltri D, Wingfield MJ. (2015) IMA Genome-F 4. Draft genome sequences of Chrysoporthe austroafricana, Diplodia scrobiculata, Fusarium nygamai, Leptographium lundbergii, Limonomyces culmigenus, Stagonosporopsis tanaceti, and Thielaviopsis punctulata. IMA Fungus 6(1):233-248. 10.5598/imafungus.2015.06.01.15 PDF