Professor Dave Berger

Prof Dave Berger is a Professor in the Plant Science Department, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria. He obtained his PhD in Microbiology at the University of Cape Town in 1990. This was followed by a Postdoc at the University of California at Berkeley, USA (1991-1993) on “Biochemical studies of the transcriptional activator NIFA (Nitrogen fixation protein A) from Klebsiella pneumoniae”. He returned to South Africa and took up a position as senior researcher at ARC-Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute, Pretoria (1993-2000), where he was involved in Agricultural Biotechnology projects, such as the first field trials of transgenic potato and maize developed in South Africa. He joined the University of Pretoria in 2000.

Research interests

Prof. Berger is leader of the Molecular Plant-Pathogen Interactions (MPPI) research group situated in the Plant Sciences Complex at the University of Pretoria. His research focuses on the molecular basis of plant-pathogen interactions and the mechanisms of plant defence using a range of approaches from whole plant phenotyping to functional genomics, as well as developing bioinformatics tools. Research projects mainly deal with the maize-grey leaf spot and Arabidopsis-bacterial wilt pathosystems. The MPPI group has particular experience in transcriptomics using microarrays, and is now increasingly using RNAseq.

Other relevant information

For more information about the MPPI research group click here (

Contact information

dave.berger[AT], Tel: +27 12 420 4634, Fax: +27 12 420 6668