Aneliswa Makhathini                                                                                                      




              Room 05-058, Biological and Conservation

                   Science Building, Westville Campus 

                       Tel :  +27 31 2608657

                       Fax: +27 31 2601195

                       E-mail 1:




Master’s  Degree in Technology: Biotechnology (cum laude)Plant Germplasm Conservation: Development of Field Collection and Transport Techniques for Eucalyptus  species and Trichilia dregeana

Degree of Bachelor of  Technology: Quality

Current Phd: Assessments of the efficacy and effects of antifungal treatments on a spectrum of recalcitrant seeds.

Details of current research:

Plant germplasm preservation is of global concern as plant genetic resources are diminishing annually through mankind utilising natural land for agriculture, urbanization and a huge percentage contributed by climate changes and natural disasters.  Thus, there is urgent need for conservation of genetic resources via ex situ germplasm preservation and the most efficient and economical approach to which is seed storage.

For purposes of this study, research focus is on recalcitrant seeds. These are categorised by their desiccation-sensitivity – i.e. the inability to withstand dehydration.  Consequently, the only means of short-to medium-term conservation is maintenance of the seeds in the hydrated state.  However, this means of storage (usually at temperatures not lower than 16 oC) is almost invariably accompanied by fungal proliferation from seed-borne inoculum.  Thus, the current investigation on plant germplasm of T. dregeana, P. longifolia  and G. livingstonei  seeds is aimed at ascertaining the efficacy of selected systemic fungicides (i.e. chemical control agents) in prolonging storage time of seeds, and particularly, the effects (beneficial and deleterious) on seeds at the microscopic level.  Furthermore, the effectiveness of biocontrol agents, e.g. the fungus Trichoderma harzianum, in curtailing those fungi implicated in seed deterioration in storage, are studied.  The investigations also have considerable significance in producing ‘clean’ germplasm for long-term cryostorage.

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