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PhD student

Department

Plant Production and Soil Science
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Primary Supervisor
Juan Vorster

 I am a PhD graduate student (Biotechnology) at the University of Pretoria. I work as a Molecular Plant Physiologist investigating soybean root nodules in water deficit conditions. Soybean is an important oil and protein source worldwide. Unfortunately an abiotic stress such as drought shortens root nodule already short lifespan affecting the all-important process of biological nitrogen fixation. Biological nitrogen fixation which takes place in the root nodules are down regulated after the onset of premature senescence in these root nodules. The focus of my project is to investigate the genes involved in activating premature senescence. Genes focussed on but not limited to, are cysteine proteases. Whether or not these genes are able to recover after rehydration is also investigated to establish in the genes induced by water deficit can be used as possible drought molecular markers.

 

Conferences:

International conference attended and presented.

Plant Biology Conference, Minneapolis, USA, 26-30th July 2015. “Transcriptional analysis of cysteine proteases in soybean root nodules experiencing premature senescence due to water deficit"

 

National conference attended and presented

1.       Combined Congress, George, Western Cape, South Africa, 20 - 23th January, 2015. " The role of soybean cysteine proteases in premature nodule senescense under water deficit conditions”.

 

2.       Combined Congress, Grahmestown, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 21 - 24th January, 2014. “Transcriptional analysis of cysteine proteases in soybean root nodules experiencing premature senescence due to water deficit”.

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Publication
van Wyk SG, Du Plessis M, Cullis CA, Kunert KJ, Vorster BJ. (2014) Cysteine protease and cystatin expression and activity during soybean nodule development and senescence. BMC Plant Biology 14(294) 10.1186/s12870-014-0294-3
Vorster BJ, Schlüter U, du Plessis M, van Wyk S, Makgopa ME, Ncube I, Quain MD, Kunert K, Foyer CH. (2013) The Cysteine Protease – Cysteine Protease Inhibitor System Explored in Soybean Nodule Development. Agronomy 3(3):550-570. 10.3390/agronomy3030550
Vorster BJ, Schlüter U, du Plessis M, van Wyk S, Makgopa M, Ncube I, Quain M, Kunert KJ, Foyer C. (2013) The Cysteine Protease–Cysteine Protease Inhibitor System Explored in Soybean Nodule Development. Agronomy 3(3):550-570.