Prof Quenton Kritzinger

University of Pretoria
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Programme Leader: 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). 


Recent publications (since 2018):

Mangwende, E., Kritzinger, Q., Truter, M. & Aveling, T.A.S. 2018. Alternaria alternata: A new seed-transmitted disease of coriander in South Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology 152, 409-416.

Aveling, T.A.S., Govender, V., Kritzinger, Q. and Blanco, R. 2018. Response of radicle cells of fungicide treated and untreated maize seed subjected to stress conditions. Acta Horticulturae 1204, 195-200.

Mandiriza, G., Kritzinger, Q. and Aveling, T.A.S. 2018. Seed health and germination of Brassica spp. from seed companies in South Africa. Acta Horticulturae 1204, 171-176. 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1204.22

Mandiriza, G., Kritzinger, Q. and Aveling, T.A.S. 2018. The evaluation of plant extracts, biocontrol agents and hot water as seed treatments to control black rot of rape in South Africa. Crop Protection 114, 129-136.

Emamzadeh Yazdi, S., Mulabisana, J., Prinsloo, G., Cloete, M. and Kritzinger, Q. 2018. Plants containing cardiac glycosides showing antiphytoviral activity against Potato Virus Y (PVYNTN) on tobacco plants. Journal of Plant Protection Research 58, 395-408.

Kotze, R.G., Crampton, B.G. & Kritzinger, Q. 2019. A histological assessment of the infection strategy of Exserohilum turcicum in maize. Plant Pathology 68, 504–512.

Mangwende, E., Kritzinger, Q. & Aveling, T.A.S. 2019. Control of Alternaria leaf spot of coriander in organic farming. European Journal of Plant Pathology 154, 575-584.

Mbendana, D., Mamabolo, K., Truter, M., Kritzinger, Q. & Ndhlala, A.R. 2019. Practices at herbal (muthi) markets in Gauteng, South Africa and their impact on the health of the consumers: A case study of KwaMai-Mai and Marabastad muthi markets. South African Journal of Botany 126, 30-39.

De Bruin, W., Kritzinger, Q., Bornman, R. & Korsten, L. 2019. Occurrence, fate and toxic effects of the industrial endocrine disrupter, nonylphenol, on plants - a review. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 181, 419-427.

Otto, M., Pretorius, B., Kritzinger, Q. & Schönfeldt, H. 2020. Contamination of freshly harvested Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) seed from Mpumalanga, South Africa, with mycotoxigenic fungi. Journal of Food Safety 40(6), 1-10.

Dembetembe, T., Rademna, S., Twilley, D., Whittington Banda, G., Masinga, L., Lall, N. & Kritzinger, Q. 2023. Antimicrobial and cytotoxic effects of medicinal plants traditionally used for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. South African Journal of Botany 154, 300 - 308.