Prof Quenton (Q) Kritzinger


Associate Professor in Plant Science

Section: Plant Pathology

Office: Plant Sciences Complex 3-38
Tel:  +27 (0)12 420 2799
Fax: +27 (0)12 420 6668

Email: [email protected]



Prof Quenton Kritzinger is an associate professor in the Department of Plant and Soil 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 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)

  • Mulugeta, T., Ilomo, M., Mueke, A., Onyango, C., Matsaunyane, L., Kritzinger, Q. and Alexandersson, E. 2024. Smallholder farmers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding agricultural inputs with a focus on agricultural biologicals. Heliyon 10(4), e26719.
  • Dembetembe, T., Rademan, S., Twilley, D., Whittington Banda, G., Masinga, L., Lall, N. and 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.
  • Otto, M., Pretorius, B., Kritzinger, Q. and 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.
  • De Bruin, W., Kritzinger, Q., Bornman, R. and 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.
  • Mbendana, D., Mamabolo, K., Truter, M., Kritzinger, Q. and 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.
  • Mangwende, E., Kritzinger, Q. and Aveling, T.A.S. 2019. Control of Alternaria leaf spot of coriander in organic farming. European Journal of Plant Pathology 154, 575-584.
  • Kotze, R.G., Crampton, B.G. and Kritzinger, Q. 2019. A histological assessment of the infection strategy of Exserohilum turcicum in maize. Plant Pathology 68, 504–512.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

Current postgraduate students

Francois Viljoen, PhD Plant Pathology, Natural occurrence of mycoflora and mycotoxins on cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) seed from rural areas in South Africa, and the effect of selected mycotoxins on seedling development

Murunwa Madzinga, PhD Medicinal Plant Science, The antifungal activity and mechanism of action of Searsia lancea against dermatophytes

Anna Mahlangu, PhD Plant Pathology, The impact of storage practices on the quality of soybean (‎Glycine max (L.) Merrill) seed produced by smallholder farmers around Gauteng Province, South Africa

Jean Hakizimana, PhD Plant Science, Understanding the aspects of mandarin rind: characterization, phytochemistry and biological activity

Tefo Pule, MSc Medicinal Plant Science, Antifungal activity of selected South African indigenous plants against Aspergillus fumigatus and A. flavus to combat aspergillosis

Sherly Mabena, MScAgric Plant Pathology, Characterization and activity of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria associated with sweet potato production in South Africa

Peggy Chikwaza, MScAgric Agronomy, Evaluation of the agronomic practices and post-harvest seed quality of cowpea and Bambara groundnut produced by smallholder farmers in Mpumalanga province, South Africa

Mokgadi Molapo, MSc Plant Pathology, Aspergillus spp. and aflatoxins associated with groundnuts from rural communities in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Anri Orsmond, MScAgric Agronomy, The effect of different carbon dioxide, temperature and watering regimes on plant growth and seed quality of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.)

Lisbeth Chauke, MScAgric Agronomy, Effect of carbon dioxide, temperature and water stress on growth, yield and seed quality of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

Jessica Pracher, MSc Plant Pathology, Use of plant biologicals as growth stimulants and pest management of potatoes


BOT 261 Plant Physiology and Biotechnology

PLG 351 General Plant Pathology


-- Updated March 2024 --

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