Université de la Réunion signs agreements with universities of Tshwane and Pretoria [fr]
On 8 June, Université de la Réunion and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) signed a MoU to further student and staff mobility, develop student cosupervizion (Masters, PhDs, Engineers), exchange regular information and teaching or scientific material, publish joint articles and elaborate courses, workshops and conferences.
This agreement was initiated by researchers from UMR QualiSud lab (joint lab between CIRAD and French HEIs) in La Réunion and South African researchers from the Crop Sciences department at TUT. The MoU marks a big step in the formalizing their commitment to work togethether and facilitate student mobility in both institutions.
Researchers currently work in understanding the effect of alternative postharvest applications to control the anthracnose disease of avocado and mango. The objective is to understand the microbian origins of this fruit disease and find an alternative to synthetic fungicides. This study is directly linked to the protection of the environment and workers and exotic fruit conservation to avoid food waste. Fungicides currently applied to fruits are very toxic and the product concentration differs from a country to another.
This project has been awarded a PROTEA bursary from the Embassy of France in Pretoria and the National Research Foundation. This funding already triggered a visit from the French researchers to TUT in May 2015, and Malick Bill’s study stay in QualiSud in La Réunion from 15 October to 15 December.
While at CIRAD, Malick’s working with Professor Fabienne Remize and Doctor Marc Chillet. His work will be focusing on studying the residual effect of thyme oil based postharvest applications on the expression of various genes involved in the defense mechanism of avocado fruit against postharvest pathogens using the Real time PCR technique..
QualiSud has also been awarded a funding from Région Réunion to support a thesis on “Postharvest mechanisms and biocontrol solutions to control mango anthracnose ". The PhD student Hugo Dieudonné is leading this research in the framework of a co-tutelle PhD supervised by both Pr Lise Korsten from UP and Fabienne Remize from UMR QualiSud. His thesis started on 1 Octobre 2015.
Hugo will visit Preotira to participate in the AfricaTechno event organized from 23 to 27 November in Pretoria, as a special session will focus on innovative technologies in food security and sustainable agriculture.