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

 

Super Rugby: Parade To Celebrate Highlanders’ Win

The Dunedin City Council is urging people to come along on Monday to congratulate the team on its win in Wellington tonight. The Highlanders will leave from outside the Dental School at midday. More>>

ALSO:

Album Review: Donnie Trumpet And The Social Experiments: Surf

Chance the Rapper is one of my favourite rappers of the last couple years. He bought a uniquely fucked up, acid sound with his debut Acid Rap which has demonstrably influenced others including ILoveMakonnen and A$AP Rocky. It’s remarkable that, at such a ... More>>

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news