Patience Chatukuta

My work focuses on improving regenerability of important vegetatively-propagated subsistence crops of southern Africa. I explore the genetic basis for regenerability variance in different genotypes using a reverse genetics approach on targeted genes associated with de novo shoot regeneration. Using genome editing techniques, I evaluate the effect of targeted gene expression levels on the shoot formation capabilities of plant protoplasts. I also study the effect of media composition on regenerability. Preliminary work focuses on the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, and lessons from this are applied to cassava (Manihot esculenta), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), and horned melon (Cucumis metuliferus).

Research lines

  • Plant protoplast transformation
  • Plant regeneration
  • Plant genome editing

Short vita

  • 2022 to present

    Postdoc / Max Planck Institute for Biology

  • 2017 to 2021

    Postdoc / Plant Biotechnology Lab / University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) South Africa

  • 2016 to 2016

    Senior Lecturer / Department of Biology / Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), Zimbabwe

  • 2013 to 2015

    PhD student / Plant Biotechnology Lab / North-West University (NWU), South Africa

  • 2011 to 2012

    MSc student / Plant Biotechnology Lab / North-West University (NWU), South Africa

  • 2010 to 2011

    Biotech communication intern / Africa Harvest Biotechnology Foundation International, South Africa

  • 2004 to 2008

    BSc (Hons) student / Department of Applied Biology and Biochemistry / National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Zimbabwe

Selected publications

A cassava protoplast system for screening genes associated with the response to South African cassava mosaic virus. Chatukuta P, Rey MEC. Virol J. 2020 Nov 23;17(1):184. doi: 10.1186/s12985-020-01453-4. PMID: 33228712; PMCID: PMC7685591.

An Arabidopsis clathrin assembly protein with a predicted role in plant defense can function as an adenylate

Chatukuta P, Dikobe TB, Kawadza DT, Sehlabane KS, Takundwa MM, Wong A, Gehring C, Ruzvidzo O. Biomolecules. 2018 Mar 23;8(2):15. doi: 10.3390

Recombinant expression and functional testing of candidate adenylate cyclase domains.

Ruzvidzo O, Dikobe BT, Kawadza DT, Mabadahanye GH, Chatukuta P, Kwezi L. Methods Mol Biol. 2013;1016:13-25. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-441-8_2.