Jill Farrant | Plant Stress Lab
|Research | Media | Publications | Collaborations | Lab members | Myrothamnus Propogation Plan|
Professor Jill M. Farrant
|Professor Jill Farrant is a leader in the field of plant responses to water deficit stress (drought/desiccation tolerance), receiving international recognition for her research. She was the African/Arab States recipient of the 2012 L'Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science (download the press release), one of only five scientists worldwide who were selected by an international jury as "researchers who will have a major impact on society and help light the way to the future". Subsequently,she has been invited to give talks and lectures on the international stage (TED talk, 2015; TEDx Cape Town, 2015; BioVision, 2013; the prestigious Falling Walls conference in Berlin,2013 (see below for videos), has been awarded and nominated for numerous awards and is a fellow of the The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). She has been awarded and maintained an A-rating by the National Research Foundation (the first female researcher at UCT ever to receive such a rating) and was made a member of the University of Cape Town College of Fellows. After holding the UCT Research Chair of Molecular Plant Physiology of Desiccation Tolerance for several years, she was awarded the NRF SARChI Chair in 2015 which she holds at the Molecular and Cell Biology Department at UCT.
Also see Wikipedia for more information.
Drought is the greatest threat to world agriculture. Due to global warming, increased and extended droughts are predicted in Africa (inter alia), presenting a threat to food security. Current crops do not tolerate much water loss, survival being contingent on mechanisms that retain water (technically drought resistance) which fail under severe drought. Resurrection plants (RPs) are tolerant of extreme water loss (i.e. desiccation tolerant), and Southern African RPs can also survive extreme heat. My group has systematically investigated the mechanisms whereby RPs survive these extreme conditions, with the view of introducing such characteristics into crops for improved drought tolerance and ultimately food security in the face of climate change.
Dr MS Rafudeen. Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Joanne Bentley - Postdoctoral research fellow | I research the metabolomic profiling and phylogenetic structuring of the resurrection plant Myrothamnus flabellifolia, with a particular focus on the phenolic components and the metabolic state in the field versus greenhouse conditions. Green chemistry is used to optimize the extraction of phenolics.
Mariam Awlia - Postdoctoral research fellow | Salt tolerance in desiccation tolerant plants
Keren Cooper - Chief Scientific Officer | Lab manager - contact email@example.com
Amogelang Tshego Gill - PhD | While several ferns are desiccation tolerant, the mechanisms employed by them are largely unknown. The resurrection fern Mohria caffrorum has fronds that are desiccation tolerant in the dry, summer months and are desiccation-sensitive in the rainy, winter months. I investigate this interesting phenomenon using physiology and proteomics tools.
Astrid Lillie Radermacher - PhD | I am investigating drought-induced senescence in the resurrection plant species Xerophyta viscosa. During desiccation, this plant withstands the loss of 95% subcellular water with minimal loss of tissue. This project aims to understand how senescence is prevented during drought, using a transcriptomics and biotechnological approach.
Chrissie Madden - PhD | My research aims at characterizing the transcriptome of an African resurrection grass Eragrostis nindensis under water-stress conditions to understand desiccation tolerance and which suites of genes are critical for cell protection and repair under extreme water stress, focusing on how senescence pathways respond in this extremophile.
Jean Felistas Ntuli - PhD | Crops face simultaneous stresses and this project aims to identify and fully characterise the molecular elements (genes, DNA, RNA – transcriptome & protein – transcription factors) that paly a dual role in plant defence for both drought tolerance and resistance to fungal pathogens. Modelling resurrection plant Xerophyta viscosa to improve Maize crops.
Farrah Kahn - PhD | Functional analysis of leaf, root and rhizome tissue of the desiccation-tolerant fern Anemia caffrorum.
Boitumelo Marope - PhD | Investigation into the salt tolerance of the resurrection plant, Eragrostis nindensis, and cross-talk with desiccation-related responses.
Mehafo Nepembe - PhD | Characterization of GDP-mannose epimerase in Xerophyta viscosa.
Arno Duvenhage - MSc | My research focuses on the roots metabolome of the resurrection species Eragrostis nindensis. Moreover, I investigate how the soil microbiome is altered by desiccation and rehydration in laboratory-grown plants; and if microbes from the field can be detected years after the plants have been collected.
Armin Rezaei - MSc | Investigation of the metabolite content of various cellular compartments in resurrection plants.
Robyn Craythorne - MSc | Investigation of late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) protein function in the resurrection plant Xerophyta schlechteri by deletion of K-segments.
Francois du Toit - MSc | Functional studies of the resurrection plant Craterostigma pumilum.