Mycotoxins, Biopesticides and Seed Quality Research

Prof Quenton Kritzinger is an associate professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. While his research activities integrate the fields of mycology, seed pathology and medicinal plant sciences, his main field of interest is the storage fungi, the mycotoxins they produce, and their association with orphan crops. 

He is particularly interested in the phytotoxic nature of various mycotoxins and investigates the mode of action of mycotoxins in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) on the molecular, physiological and biochemical levels. Furthermore, he studies the antimicrobial and antiviral potential of extracts and isolated compounds from indigenous South African plant species to act against plant pathogens, in particular mycotoxin-producing fungi. The aim is to use plant extracts to develop botanical fungicides that can be used as an alternative, environmentally friendlier approach to prevent and control fungal infestation and mycotoxin contamination of grain in storage systems. Most of his research projects are aimed at ultimately contributing to enhancing food security among smallholder farmers and rural communities in South Africa and on the African continent.

Prof Kritzinger currently holds a C2 rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF).