Professor Chrissie Rey


Chrissie Rey completed her BScHons and PhD degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand in Microbiology and Plant Pathology. She was Head of the School of Molecular and Cell Biology for 10 years. Currently she is a Professor in MCB and teaches plant pathology, virology and microbiology. Prof Rey was awarded the NSTF AWARD for Researcher, for Research Capacity Development in 2010 for capacity development through the mentoring of 82 postgraduate students over her 25 year career, from both South Africa and many other sub-Saharan African countries.

Research interests

Professor Rey runs the Cassava Biotechnology Programme, which undertakes research to improve cassava germplasm with regards to resistance to Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD). She is working in conjunction with Mozambique in developing cassava for the southern African region, and building capacity for cassava transformation. Other general research interests are plant virus phylogeny, virus identification and diagnosis, and host-virus interactions.

Specific current projects include:

  • Characterization of geminiviruses & satellites from cassava and tomato
  • Epidemiology of tomato curly stunt disease, CMD & cassava brown streak disease in SA, Mozambique and Tanzania
  • Biodiversity studies on whitefly vectors and viruses of cassava and tomato in SA and Mozambique
  • Genetic engineering for virus resistance, transformation and regeneration systems in cassava
  • Functional genomics studies of virus-host interactions in cassava and tomato

Contact information

Prof Chrissie Rey, Tel: +27 11 717 6324