Dr Quenton (Q) Kritzinger



Senior Lecturer Plant Science
Section: Medicinal Plant Science

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

Email: quenton.kritzinger[AT]up.ac.za

Dr Kritzinger integrates plant pathology and medicinal plant science into his main research focus areas of mycotoxins and natural (botanical) pesticides. The overarching aim of his research endeavours is to promote food security amongst smallholder and emerging farmers.

Mycotoxins: Seed and leaf samples from rural communities from cowpea-producing areas in South Africa and other African countries are analyzed for fumonisin and other mycotoxin contamination. This is needed to establish whether a problem does indeed exist with regards to contamination of cowpea by mycotoxigenic fungi and their associated mycotoxins, which could lead to potential health problems for both humans and animal. With this information at hand, necessary control and prevention strategies can be developed. Other research activities include studies on mode of action of mycotoxins in cowpea on a physiological, molecular and biochemical level. Botanical pesticides: Studies in alternative, cost effective and more environmentally safer ways to control pathogens has gained much interest over the past few years. Screenings in our research group have identified a number of plants that have shown promising activity in vitro and in greenhouse trials. Further investigations include evaluating the phytotoxic and cytotoxic nature of the plant extracts as well as the isolation and identification of potential active compounds.


Selected publications:

  • de Bruin, W., van der Merwe, C.F., Kritzinger, Q., Bornman, R. & Korsten, L. (2017) Morphological characterisation of lettuce plasma membrane ultrastructure and vesicle formation caused by nonylphenol: A scanning electron microscopy study. South African Journal of Botany. 111. 176-181.

  • de Bruin, W., van der Merwe, C.F., Kritzinger, Q., Bornman, R. & Korsten, L. (2017) Ultrastructural and developmental evidence of phytotoxicity on cos lettuce (Lactuca sativa) associated with nonylphenol exposure. Chemosphere, 169, 428-436.

  • Kotze, R.G., Crampton, B.G. & Kritzinger, Q. (2017) Effect of fumonisin B1 on the emergence, growth and ceramide synthase gene expression of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp). European Journal of Plant Pathology, 148, 295-306.

  • Masangwa, J.I.G., Kritzinger, Q., & Aveling, T.A.S. (2017) Germination and seedling emergence responses of common bean and cowpea to plant extract seed treatments. Journal of Agricultural Science, 155, 18–31.

  • Mandiriza-Mukwirimba, G., Kritzinger, Q. & Aveling, T.A.S. (2016) A survey of brassica vegetable smallholder farmers in the Gauteng and Limpopo provinces of South Africa. Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics, 117(1), 35-44.

  • de Bruin, W., Kritzinger, Q., Bornman, M.S. & Korsten, L. (2016) Nonylphenol, an industrial endocrine disrupter chemical, affects root hair growth, shoot length and root length of germinating Cos lettuce (Lactuca sativa). Seed Science and Technology, 44(1), 1-10.

  • Potgieter, M., Harding, A., Kritzinger, Q., Somo, C. & Engelbrecht, J. (2015) Reflections of science students on their experience of an academic development programme in South Africa South African. Journal of Higher Education, 29(1), 109–132.

  • Masangwa, J.I.G., Aveling, T.A.S. & Kritzinger, Q. (2013) Screening of plant extracts for antifungal activities against Colletotrichum species of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp).Journal of Agricultural Science, 151, 482–491.

  • Aveling, T. A. S., Govender, V., Kandolo, D.S. & Kritzinger, Q. (2013) The effects of treatments with selected pesticides on viability and vigour of maize (Zea mays) seeds and seedling emergence in the presence of Fusarium graminearum. Journal of Agricultural Science, 151, 474–481.

  • Mofokeng, M., Prinsloo, G. & Kritzinger, Q. (2012) Germination response of four South African medicinal plants to a range of temperatures and treatments.Seed Science Technology, 40, 123 – 128.


Students and Post-doc:

Richard Kotze, PhD: Plant Science, The role of monocerin in the infection process of Exserohilum turcicum in maize plants

Francois Viljoen, PhD: Plant Pathology, Natural occurrence of toxigenic fungi and mycotoxins in cowpea seed and their physiological and biochemical effects

Sphumelele Mkhize, MSc: Plant Pathology, Mycoflora and mycotoxins associated with cowpea leaves (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) in South Africa.

Thuso Moshabesha, MSc: Plant Science, Biocontrol potential of bacteria isolated from Carpobrotus spp. as seed treatments against Fusarium pathogens of maize

Brad Querl, MSc: Paraclinical Sciences, Psychotria zombamontana as an alternative animal feed additive

Murunwa Madzinga, MSc: Medicinal Plant Science, Isolation of antifungal compounds from plants indigenous to South Africa and formulation of epicutaneous topical products

Riaan Groenewald, MSc: Environmental Management, Evaluation of postharvest storage practices of small-scale farmers in Kwa-Zulu Natal

Sipho Chauke, BSc (Hons): Medicinal Plant Science, Antifungal activity of leaf extracts of Southern African plants against aflatoxigenic Aspergillus species

Thandy Makgolane, BSc (Hons): Plant Science, Optimal production of Exserohilum turcicum conidia in vitro



BOT 261 Plant Physiology and Biotechnology

BOT 356 Plant Ecophysiology

GKD 420 Soil fertility, Soil Microbiology and Plant Nutrition

PLG 490 Current concepts in Plant Pathology

Published by Petunia Degashu

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