Dr Bill Malick

University of Pretoria
Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology

Senior Research Fellow
Programme Leader: Plant Health and Safety


As a research leader in Postharvest Pathology and Technology, I am directly involved in the management of research related to diseases control and retention of postharvest quality of fresh produce (fruits and vegetables). This involves the development of innovative and more effective disease control strategies through an in depth understanding of fungicide resistance/sensitivity and mode of action (in vitro and in vivo) in fungal pathogens, understanding plant-pathogen interactions and microbial dynamics during production and in the supply chain of fruits and vegetables using cutting-edge technology (including and not limited to Next-Generation Sequencing). The understanding of plant-microbe interaction is facilitated through studying the expression of host defence genes (RT-PCR) and mechanisms (Mass Spectrophotometry, HPLC and GC-MS) in inoculated and treated fruit for the control of plant diseases. I'm particularly interested in the understanding of microbial dynamics (microbial ecology) in fresh produce production systems for the development of microbiome-assisted biopesticides and reduction of wastes and losses. I am highly skilled in pathogen (fungi and bacteria) isolation for short term and long-term preservation and conducting periodic checks for viability as well as their characterization using both morphological and molecular techniques. I also have experience in working with plant growth regulators to advance harvest maturity and improving storability of the fruit.