Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Waikato student awarded Zespri fellowship for Psa research

16 June, 2014

Waikato student awarded Zespri fellowship for Psa research

University of Waikato PhD candidate Rasika Subasinghe has been awarded a Zespri Innovation Fellowship for her research into the host cell wall degrading strategies of the Psa bacteria in kiwifruit.

Each year, as part of their efforts to encourage continued research into the kiwifruit industry, the Zespri Innovation Fellowship group identify key topics in areas where there is a specific need for research. This year topics included Psa, fruit quality and supply chain, on orchard productivity and health and nutrition.

Host cell wall degrading strategies of Psa in kiwifruit

“The goals of my research are to determine whether and how Psa degrades the host’s cell walls, how the pathogen moves within the host’s tissues, and ultimately, how Psa causes tissue wilt and cane die back. These goals will be achieved using a range of plant physiology, microbiology, molecular biology, bioinformatics and histological techniques, thus, building capability and research into the New Zealand kiwifruit industry,” says Rasika.

Studies conducted to investigate the actual invasion strategies and mobility of the Psa pathogen in the host plant remains inconclusive. “However the outcome of the research conducted into the host cell wall degrading activity and invasion strategies of a number of other pathogens, and also histological analysis of Psa infected host plants, shed some light on the possible cell wall degrading mechanism of the pathogen.”

From Sri Lanka to Hamilton

Before studying at Waikato University, Rasika worked at the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka. She has also worked as a researcher at the Postharvest Technology Unit of Industrial Technology Institute of Sri Lanka and at the Chamber of Industries of Sri Lanka as an Executive for the Agriculture and Horticulture sector.

Why Waikato?

When considering a suitable university, Rasika’s main consideration was the research expertise of the faculty and the degree of relevance of such expertise to her intended project.

“My research project required expertise in a number of areas such as plant physiology, microbiology, molecular biology and biochemistry. At Waikato University I was able to identify potential supervisors with expertise and track record in all of these disciplines.”

She says that the University of Waikato’s approach and the way the entire PhD enrolment process was handled was great, especially where her supervisor Dr Michael Clearwater was concerned and this gave her confidence that she had “found an excellent university”.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Shipped On A Bottle: Young Change-Makers Take To The Sea On Plastic Bottle Kayaks

With the aim of harnessing innovative design to construct kayaks solely from recycled materials, the “waste positive” project Plastic Bottle Kayak brings adventure into Kiwi classrooms. The call is out now for classrooms to send in messages and artwork to be inserted into the bottles. More>>

TV3 Video: Auckland Arts Festival Kicks Off

The Auckland Arts Festival kicks off March 4, with artists from New Zealand and all over the world on show. More>>

ALSO:

Te Matatini: Minister Applauds National Kapa Haka Festival

Education Minister Hekia Parata wishes the best of luck to everyone involved in this week’s national kapa haka festival, Te Matatini, in Christchurch. “Te Matatini showcases the very best of Māori performing arts talent. It’s a celebration of identity, language and culture at the highest level and I’m looking forward to being amongst it,” says Ms Parata. More>>

ALSO:

Kiwi Pride: Accolades For Film About Man Who Falls In Love With A Stick

A short animated film written and directed by New Zealand born Matthew Darragh has been selected for the Courts des îles, International Festival of Short Fiction Films. More>>

ALSO:

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news