Dr Antoinette van Schalkwyk, Dr Boney Kuriakose, Erika Viljoen

Quality and wholesomeness of food and food products are two issues addressed prominently by society especially in relation to obesity (and atherosclerosis), the most important cause of cardiovascular disease and age-related diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. Module 2 is dedicated to screen tomato and potato for variation in levels and/or composition of antioxidants, other health-related nutraceuticals and minerals. This involves targeted analyses of (i) antioxidant metabolites, such as carotenoids, vitamin C and E, flavonoids and other phenolics, (ii) folate and (iii) minerals, such as Fe and Zn, as well as an untargeted screening for (novel) antioxidants. Genes/QTLs responsible for the formation and accumulation of these nutraceuticals will be mapped and screened. Subsequently the molecular and regulatory mechanisms underlying the biosynthesis, accumulation and degradation of these metabolites, using all available X-omics technologies, will be elucidated. The most relevant traits (metabolites) and genotypes will be identified for further analysis and the influence of development (fruit, tuber) and growing conditions assessed on these traits. Tomato and potato collections will be profiled for neutraceuticals and the most relevant traits and lines identified and confirmed for breeding.


For further information visit the EU-SOL webpage.

New Publications

Viljoen E, Odeny DA, Coetzee MPA, Berger DK, Rees DJG. (2018) Application of Chloroplast Phylogenomics to Resolve Species Relationships Within the Plant Genus Amaranthus. Journal of Molecular Evolution 86(3-4):216-239. 10.1007/s00239-018-9837-9
Liversage J, Coetzee MPA, Bluhm BH, Berger DK, Crampton BG. (2018) LOVe across kingdoms: Blue light perception vital for growth and development in plant–fungal interactions. Fungal Biology Reviews 10.1016/j.fbr.2017.11.003
Wingfield BD, Berger DK, Steenkamp ET, Lim H-J, Duong TA, Bluhm BH, De Beer ZW, De Vos L, Fourie G, Naidoo K, Olivier NA, Lin Y, Van der Peer Y, Joubert F, Crampton BG, Swart V, Soal N, Tatham C, Van der Nest MA, Van der Merwe NA, Van Wyk S, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ. (2017) IMA Genome-F 8 Draft genome of Cercospora zeina, Fusarium pininemorale, Hawksworthiomyces lignivorus, Huntiella decipiens and Ophiostoma ips. IMA Fungus 8 (2):385‑396. 10.5598/imafungus.2017.08.02.10
Meyer J, Berger DK, Christensen SA, Murray SL. (2017) RNA-Seq analysis of resistant and susceptible sub-tropical maize lines reveals a role for kauralexins in resistance to grey leaf spot disease, caused by Cercospora zeina. BMC Plant Biology 17:197. 10.1186/s12870-017-1137-9
Amuge T, Berger DK, Katari MS, Myburg AA, Goldman SL, Ferguson ME. (2017) A time series transcriptome analysis of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) varieties challenged with Ugandan cassava brown streak virus. Scientific Reports 7:9747. 10.1038/s41598-017-09617-z