Acting Nature Conservation Head secures crucial funding from ICGEB

Professor Kuben Naidoo

The University management has once again reacted with joy as positive research-related news continues to string in. This time, it is the Acting Head of the Department of Nature Conservation, Professor Kuben Naidoo, who secured funding from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), for the Collaborative Research Grant Programme.

Professor Naidoo’s proposal was titled: ‘The role of plant hormones and silver nanoparticles in alleviating the effects of salt stress in a well-known halophyte’.

Claudia Russo, from the Office of the Director – ICGEB Historically Disadvantaged Institution (HDI) Special Programme, said the application from Professor Naidoo was “in the context of the ICGEB Special Programme with South African HDIs, in partnership with the South African Department of Science and Innovation.”

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement at MUT, Professor Nokuthula Sibiya, said: “We are super-proud of you, Professor Naidoo. Please continue to fly to the sky the MUT flag.”

MUT Research Director, Dr Anette Mienie, said “Professor Naidoo has done MUT proud”.

Professor Kuben Naidoo emphasised that the selection of genotypes for better salt tolerance in crops has become a critical requirement for crop productivity, especially in countries where water is scarce. Professor Naidoo said increasing knowledge of the adaptive mechanisms and the morphological, physiological, and biochemical strategies for coping with salt stress were critical for success in crop improvement.

He added that the funding would allow the phytomedicine team to purchase consumables and small equipment required to further enhance research capacity and output.