Agriculture academic visits Australian Museum Research Institute

Dr Makhosi Buthelezi

Dr  Makhosi Buthelezi from the Department of Agriculture is visiting the Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI) in Sydney, Australia from 04 to 12 November 2022 to progress research activities on the integrative systematics of the pest, Lepidoptera.

This  work will incorporate the dissection and microscopic examination of specimens as well as DNA work on the groundnut/soya bean leaf miner (GSLM) specimens collected from South Africa, Australia and India.  The ultimate goal of this research project is to develop control strategies for GSLM, a new serious pest of legume crops which has recently invaded the African continent. GSLM distribution covers Egypt, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, DRC, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Therefore, the findings of this research project do not benefit South Africa alone but other countries affected by this pest. This research project falls under one of MUT’s research areas of collaborative excellence which is health and food security.

The research project is being conducted in collaboration with the University of Zululand, Department of Agriculture and Plant Sciences, the Entomology Department in AMRI in Sydney, Australia and the Department of Entomology in International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad in India. This is the second visit to AMRI by Dr Buthelezi to undertake research activities; she also visited ICRISAT in Hyderabad twice to undertake research activities for this project. Locally, the project is funded by MUT and NRF. Six publications have emanated from this research project.