Ms Tintswalo Maluleke
I completed a BSc Genetics in 2011 and further obtained a BSc Hons in Biotechnology in 2012 with the Department of Plant Science of the University of Pretoria. I started working with banana weevils (Cosmopolites sordidus) during my honors and my continued interest allowed me to continue with them through to MSc, this time with the Department of Soil Science and Plant Production. My supervisor is Dr BJ Vorster.
Our project entails screening cystatins originating from potato (Solanum tuberosum) as anti-nutritional proteins to combat banana weevil infestation in plants such as banana, plantain, and ensete. This is being done by testing the inhibitory strength of eight potato multicystatin domains against the gut proteases of banana weevils using flourimetric assays and insect bioassays. This project may lead to better methods of controlling banana weevil infestation.