The Avocado Research Programme (ARP; previously the Fruit Tree Biotechnology Programme) was established in 2008 as a collaborative initiative between the Hans Merensky Foundation, Westfalia Technological Services and researchers from the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI). The programme is headed by Professor Noёlani van den Berg, with a major research focus on avocado tree health.


Research conducted within the ARP aims to elucidate molecular plant-pathogen interactions in avocado response to the root rot pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi, identification and characterisation of avocado defense genes and P. cinnamomi effector genes, as well as transcriptome sequencing. The ARP has recently also undertaken research on the white root rot pathogen of avocado, Rosellinia necatrix and is currently conducting a survey to establish the extent of Ambrosia beetle occurrence in avocado orchards and determine which fungal symbionts are carried by these beetles.

 

New Publications

Backer R, Engelbrecht J, van den Berg N. (2022) Differing Responses to Phytophthora cinnamomi Infection in Susceptible and Partially Resistant Persea americana (Mill.) Rootstocks: A Case for the Role of Receptor-Like Kinases and Apoplastic Proteases. Frontiers in Plant Science 13 10.3389/fpls.2022.928176 PDF
Hartley J, Engelbrecht J, Van den Berg N. (2022) Detection and prevalence of Rosellinia necatrix in South African avocado orchards. European Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s10658-022-02532-8
Fick A, Swart V, Van den Berg N. (2022) The ups and downs of plant NLR expression during pathogen infection. Frontiers in Plant Science 13:921148. 10.3389/fpls.2022.921148
Midgley KA, van den Berg N, Swart V. (2022) Unraveling plant cell death during Phytophthora Infection. Microorganisms 10(6) 10.3390/microorganisms10061139 PDF
Miyambo TM, Backer R, Engelbrecht J, Joubert F, van der Merwe NA, van den Berg N. (2022) The Identification and Characterization of Endopolygalacturonases in a South African Isolate of Phytophthora cinnamomi. Microorganisms 10(1061) 10.3390/microorganisms10051061 PDF