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 Dr. Ashwil Klein

Position: Lecturer in Biotechnology
Department: Department of Biotechnology
Faculty: Faculty of Natural Science
Qualifications: BSc, BSc Hons, MSc, PhD (UWC
Tel: 021 959 3327
Fax: 021 959 3505
Email: aklein@uwc.ac.za
Research:
 
 
 
 

Biography

 Dr Ashwil Klein holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of the Western Cape. After completing his PhD in 2012, he was awarded the National Research Foundation Research Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. In 2014, he was employed in the Department of Biotechnology at UWC as Lecturer. Dr Ashwil Klein is the principal investigator of the Plant Omics Laboratory and is currently the manager of the Proteomics Research and Service Unit in association with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). In 2016, he was awarded the UWC Early Career Research Support grant and is a current a recipient of the National Research Foundation Thutuka grant. His research focus is towards understanding how best to control crop diseases by investigating plant-pathogen interactions under normal and abiotic stress conditions to improve food safety and security. The pathogens of interest are Fusarium verticillioides, and Fusarium proliferatum, Fusarium culmorum for cereals and Fusarium oxysporum for legumes. His lab is evaluating the physiological and molecular responses of cereals (maize wheat, sorghum) and legumes (soybean, cowpea) to Fusarium infection under normal and abiotic stress conditions. Other projects running in his lab includes investigating the effect of exogenous phenolic acids (caffeic acid and gallic acid) in controlling pathogen infection in cereal and legume plants under abiotic stress conditions

Publications

Research articles

1.    Keyster M, Klein A, Ludidi N (2010) Endogenous NO levels regulate nodule functioning: Potential role of cGMP in nodule functioning? Plant Signaling & Behavior, 12, 1-3.

 

2.    Keyster M, Klein A, Egbichi I, Jacobs A, Ludidi N (2011) Nitric oxide increases the enzymatic activity of three ascorbate peroxidase isoforms in soybean root nodules. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 6: 1-6.

 

3.    Keyster M, Klein A, Ludidi N (2012) Caspase-like enzymatic activity and the ascorbate-glutathione cycle participate in salt stress tolerance of maize conferred by exogenously applied nitric oxide. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 7 (3), 349-360.

 

4.    Keyster M, Klein A, Du Plessis M, Jacobs A, Kappo A, Kocsy G, Galiba G, Ludidi N (2012) Capacity to control oxidative stress-induced caspase-like activity determines the level of tolerance to salt stress in two contrasting maize genotypes. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 35 (1), 31-40.

5.    Keyster M, Adams R, Klein A, Ludidi N (2013) Nitric oxide regulates expression of a soybean cystatin and influences caspase-like activity in soybean root nodules. Plant Omics: 6 (3), 183-192.

 

6.    Klein A, Keyster M, Ludidi N (2013) Caffeic acid decreases salinity-induced root nodule superoxide radical accumulation and limits salinity-induced biomass reduction in soybean. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 35 (10), 3059-3066.

 

7.    Egbichi I, Keyster M, Jacobs A, Klein A, Ludidi N (2013) Modulation of antioxidant enzyme activities and metabolites ratios by nitric oxide in short-term salt stressed soybean root nodules. South African Journal of Botany, 88, 326-333.

 

8.    Klein A, Keyster M, Ludidi N (2015) Response of soybean nodules to exogenously applied caffeic acid during NaCl-induced salinity. South African Journal of Botany, 96 (13), 13-18.

 

9.    Gokul A, Roode E, Klein A, Keyster, M (2016) Exogenous 3,3'-diindolylmethane increases Brassica napus L. seedling growth through modulation of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide content. Journal of Plant Physiology, 197, 93–98.

 

10.    Nxele X, Klein A, Ndimba BK (2017) Drought and salinity stress alters ROS accumulation, water retention and osmolyte content in sorghum plants. South African Journal of Botany, 108, 261-266.

 

Conference Proceedings

1.      Maria M. van Dyk, John Baison, Paidashe Hove, Claudius Marondedze, Ashwil Klein, Khashief Soeker and D. Jasper G. Rees (2007) Bin-mapping of EST-SSR and EST-SNP in apple (Malus x domestica.). Eucarpia XII Fruit Section Symposium, September 16-20, 2007, Zaragoza, Spain, 57-58. 

2.      Marshall Keyster, Alex Jacobs, Ashwil Klein, Morné Du Plessis, Paul Kappo, Gábor Kocsy, Gábor Galiba, Ndiko Ludidi (2010) Two maize genotypes demonstrate the importance of antioxidant capacity and cysteine endopeptidase activity in regulating plant tolerance to salt stress. 4th International Symposium of the SFB 429, Potsdam Germany. 

3.      Ashwil Klein, Marshall Keyster, Ndiko Ludidi (2012) Nitric oxide mediated signaling for enhancing maize tolerance to abiotic stress. SASBMB/FASBMB Congress, Champagne Sports Resort, Drakensberg, South Africa, 29 January – 01 February 2012. 

4.      Marshall Keyster, Nashiphi Silulwane, Ashwil Klein, Alex Jacobs, Ndiko Ludidi (2012) Nitric Oxide regulates expression of a soybean Cystatin and influences Caspase-like activity in soybean root nodules. SASBMB/FASBMB Congress, Champagne Sports Resort, Drakensberg, South Africa, 29 January – 01 February 2012.

5.      Ashwil Klein, Marshall Keyster, Ndiko Ludidi (2013) Caffeic acid-induced salt stress tolerance is mediated by nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide scavenging enzymes in soybean root nodules. 39th Annual Conference of the South African Association of Botanists (SAAB), Drakensberg, South Africa, Volume: 86. 

6.      Marshall Keyster, R. Adams, Ashwil Klein, Ndiko Ludidi (2013) Nitric oxide differentially modulates the expression of four cystatins from soybean. 39th Annual Conference of the South African Association of Botanists (SAAB), Drakensberg, South Africa, Volume: 86.

7.      Ashwil Klein, Ndiko Ludidi (2014) Nitric oxide restricts salt-induced oxidative damage in maize by altering the activity of various superoxide dismutase isoforms. SASBMB Congress, Goudini Spa, South Africa, 06-09 July 2014. 

8.      Ndiko Ludidi, Zinthle Kolo, Ashwil Klein, Neo Ramorara (2014) ZmC3H is a candidate Zea mays p-coumarate 3-hydroxylase involved in regulating maize tolerance to drought. SASBMB Congress, Goudini Spa, South Africa, 06-09 July 2014.

9.      Arun Gokul, Enrico Roode, Ashwil Klein, Marshall Keyster, (2015) Effect of exogenous 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) on Brassica napus seedlings. UWC-MU Plant Science symposium (Sustainable Food Security and Environmental Ecosystems for World Prosperity), University of the Western Cape, New Life Science building, Bellville, South Africa 14-18 June 2015. 

10.  Mbukeni Nkomo Arun Gokul, Ashwil Klein, Ifeanyi Egbichi, Marshall Keyster, Ndiko Ludidi (2015) Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase activity alters antioxidant activity in Vicia faba. South African Journal of Botany, 130, 340. 

11.  Ndiko Ludidi, Andile Lilelo, Ashwil Klein, (2015) Drought-induced changes in ascorbate peroxidase isozymes in leaves and roots of maize. IPG symposium (Between a rock and a hard place), Columbia, Missouri, USA, 27-29 May 2015. 

12.  Achmat Williams, Lizex Husselmann, Bongani Ndimba, Ashwil Klein (2016) Profiling the leaf proteome of two contrasting chia (Salvia hispanica L.) genotypes. ICGEB-BecA-QUT Workshop “Bridging the Gap between Agriculture and Human Health”. Southern Sun Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa 19 - 22 September. 

13.  Riyaad Addinall, Enrico Roode, Ashwil Klein, Marshall Keyster (2016) Exogenous myristic acid alters nitric oxide and nutrient content to alleviate zirconium toxicity in Brassica napus L. ICGEB-BecA-QUT Workshop “Bridging the Gap between Agriculture and Human Health”. Southern Sun Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa 19 - 22 September. 

14.  Mbukeni Nkomo, Bongani Ndimba, Ashwil Klein, Ndiko Ludidi (2016) Comparative analysis of two contrasting canola genotypes in response to drought stress. ICGEB-BecA-QUT Workshop “Bridging the Gap between Agriculture and Human Health”. Southern Sun Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa 19 - 22 September.

15.  Shelby Jones, Marshall Keyster, Ashwil Klein (2017) Exogenous caffeic acid alters physiological and molecular responses in chia (Salvia hispanica L.). South African Journal of Botany, 109, 339-340.

16.  Mihlali Badiwe, Sinazo Bali, Pateka Menzi, Mbukeni Nkomo, Marshall Keyster, Bongani Ndimba, Ashwil Klein (2017) The biochemical and proteomic analysis of Salvia Hispanica L, subjected to salinity and zirconium combined stress. IUBMB Advanced School: A molecular view of the food-health relationship. Spetses, Greece, 15-19 May 2017. 

17.  Sinazo Bali, Mbukeni Nkomo, Pateka Menzi, Mihlali Badiwe, Bongani Ndimba, Ashwil Klein (2017) The influence of PEG-induced osmotic stress on the physiological and biochemical responses of Salvia hispanica L (Chia). IUBMB Advanced School: A molecular view of the food-health relationship. Spetses, Greece, 15-19 May 2017. 

18.  Pateka Menzi, Sinazo Bali, Mbukeni Nkomo, Mihlali Badiwe, Marshall Keyster, Bongani Ndimba, Ashwil Klein (2017) The effect of caffeic acid on the physiological and molecular responses of Pisum sativum under vanadium stress. IUBMB Advanced School: A molecular view of the food-health relationship. Spetses, Greece, 15-19 May 2017. 

19.  Mbukeni Nkomo, Arun Gokul, Sinazo Bali, Pateka Menzi, Mihlali Badiwe, Marshall Keyster, Bongani Ndimba, Ashwil Klein (2017) The impact of low soil pH and high vanadium exposure on plant physiology and antioxidant capacity of Chenopodium  amarule: a potential forage crop for heavy metal contaminated areas in South Africa. IUBMB Advanced School: A molecular view of the food-health relationship. Spetses, Greece, 15-19 May 2017. 

20.  Lee Ann Niekerk, Arun Gokul, Ashwil Klein, Marshall Keyster (2017) Analyzing the molecular responses of two common bean cultivars to antimony stress. WUN symposium cum Research Summit: Impacts of grain legume research and development in developing countries. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 8-17 June 2017. 

21.  Shelby Jones, Marshall Keyster, Ashwil Klein (2017) Caffeic acid restricts salt-induced oxidative damage in chai plants. 2nd Session of International theoretical and practical course: Using whole-genome data in plant breeding: GWAS and genomic selection. Centre de Biotechnologie de Borj Cédria, Tunisia, 17-21 July 2017. 

22.  Achmat Williams, Lizex Husselmann, Bongani Ndimba, Ashwil Klein (2017) Profiling the leaf proteome of two contrasting chia (Salvia hispanica L.) genotypes.  2nd Session of International theoretical and practical course: Using whole-genome data in plant breeding: GWAS and genomic selection. Centre de Biotechnologie de Borj Cédria, Tunisia, 17-21 July 2017. 

 

Invited seminars/talks

1.   Ashwil Klein (2015) Biochemical responses of two chia (Salvia hispanica L.) genotypes to salt stress. UWC-MU Plant Science symposium (Sustainable Food Security and Environmental Ecosystems for World Prosperity), University of the Western Cape, New Life Science building, Bellville, South Africa 14-18 June 2015.

2.   Ashwil Klein (2017) The influence of combined abiotic and biotic stress on economically important food crops. Western Cape Agricultural Research Forum (WCARF), Elsenburg, Stellenbosch, 18 May 2017. 

3.   Ashwil Klein (2017) The influence of Fusarium oxysporum infection on the physiological and molecular responses of cowpea plants. First Tunisian-South African Workshop: Genetics and Omics for studying abiotic stress responses in forage crops. Centre de Biotechnologie de Borj Cédria, Tunisia, 13 July 2017. ​​

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Networks

 Collaborators

Prof Ndiko Ludidi (University of the Western Cape) – nludidi@uwc.ac.za 
• Enhancing drought and salinity stress tolerance in maize, soybean and medicago plants
• Signaling molecules (cGMP, caffeic acid, nitric oxide) modulates salinity stress tolerance in cereal and legume plants

Dr Marshall Keyster (University of the Western Cape) – mkeyster@uwc.ac.za  
• Investigating heavy metal tolerance in leguminous plants
• Physiological and molecular responses of pseudocereal crops to heavy metal stress
• Phytoremediation using Chenopodium plant species

Dr Admire Dube (School of Pharmacy UWC) – adube@uwc.ac.za 
• Proteomic approach to bio-corona qualitative and quantitative characterization

Dr Lindy Rose (Stellenbosch University) - lindym@sun.ac.za 
• Plant-pathogen interaction proteomic profiles - pseudocereals
 
Prof Dave Tabb (Stellenbosch University) – dtabb@sun.ac.za  
• Pseudocereal proteomics

Prof Jill Farrant (University of Cape Town) – jill.farrant@uct.ac.za 
• Dehydration tolerance of pseudocereal crops

Dr Suhail Rafudeen (University of Cape Town) – suhail.rafudeen@uct.ac.za
• Cowpea-Fusarium interaction

Memberships
Member, South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SASBMB)
Member, American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB)
Member, South African Association of Botanist (SAAB)
Member, South African Society for Plant Pathology (SASPP)

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