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Dave  Berger

Dave Berger Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, FABI

Dave Berger is leader of the Molecular Plant-Pathogen Interactions (MPPI) research group in the Department of Plant Science, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. His research, that is also supported by the Genomics Research Institute at the University, aims to gain a better understanding of the molecular dialogue between plants and pathogens with the long term goal of developing sustainable strategies to control crop diseases of relevance in Africa. Grey leaf spot disease of maize is the current focus of the lab.

Dr. Berger completed a PhD degree in Microbiology (1990) at the University of Cape Town, where he cloned a key transcriptional regulator from a “gold-mining” bacterium. This was followed by a Postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley, USA (1991-1993) in biochemistry and molecular biology of nitrogen metabolism in bacteria. His work contributed to the current understanding of transcriptional regulation, particularly the role of integration host factor in bending promoter DNA to bring transcriptional protein complexes together. On return to South Africa, he was Senior Researcher at the Agricultural Research Council in Plant Biotechnology (1993-2000). In 2000, he moved to the University of Pretoria, where he set up a DNA Microarray Facility, and he is currently Professor and Acting HOD of the Plant Science Department.

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