Lauren Martin

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Lauren Martin

Assistant Research Officer: Microbiologist
(Crop Biology Resource Centre)
MSc (UKZN)

Tel: +27-(0)31-508-7530

Role To provide expertise in Microbiology and Molecular Biology within the Pathology environment. Identify pathogens and pests that may pose a threat to the biosecurity of the industry. Responsible for the technical management of the Pathology laboratories. Provide training and supervision to interns and post-graduate students when required.
Expertise Microbiology, Molecular biology, Phylogenetics, the potential use of Wolbachia in bio-control against insect pests, Post-harvest deterioration of sugarcane.
Research Interests

The use of Wolbachia as a potential biological control agent against Eldana saccharina Walker and other harmful pests.

Genetic diversity in populations of rust (Puccinia) in southern Africa.

The use of molecular phylogenetics to characterise groups of pathogens and pests threatening the South African sugar industry.

Key Outcomes

The presence of Wolbachia in Eldana saccharina Walker and implications for possible use as a biological control agent.

Incidence of Wolbachia in arthropod pests of sugarcane in South Africa and other countries.

The use of molecular techniques to assist in determining genetic variability of rust pathogens infecting sugarcane.

 Key Publications

U Pillay, LA Martin, RS Rutherford and SD Berry, (2009). Entomopathogenic nematodes in sugarcane in South Africa. Proceedings of the South African Sugarcane Technologists Association Congress.

DL Sweby, LA Martin, S Govender, D Conlong and RS Rutherford, (2010). The presence of Wolbachia in Eldana saccharina Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae): Implications for Biological Control. Proceedings of the South African Sugarcane Technologists Association Congress.

V Chaplot, J Brown, P Dlamini, T Eustice, J-L Janeau, G Jewitt, S Lorentz, LA Martin, C Nontokozo-Mchunu, E Oakes, P Podwojewski, S Revil, C Rumpfel, and N Zondi, (2010). Rainfall simulation to identify the storm-scale mechanisms of gully bank retreat. Agricultural Water Management, 98 1704 – 1710.

GK Buthelezi, LA Martin, DL Sweby, MJ Way and RS Rutherford, (2011). Incidence of Wolbachia in arthropod pests of sugarcane in South Africa and other countries. Proceedings of the South African Sugarcane Technologists Association Congress.

P Pillay, DL Sweby, LA Martin, M Zulu, DE Conlong and RS Rutherford, (2011). Effects of Wolbachia infection on the interactions between Eldana saccharina and its insect parasitoids. Proceedings of the South African Sugarcane Technologists Association Congress.