Start main page content

Dr. Kershree Padayachee

BSc, BSc Hons (University of Natal)

MSc, PhD (Plant Cryopreservation, University of the Witwatersrand)

Current Occupation: Lecturer

Work Address:

School of Animal, Plant & Environmental Sciences
University of the Witwatersrand
rivate Bag 3, Wits, 2050
South Africa

Tel:  27 (0) 11 717 64 90



Courses taught: Cell Biology, Plant Reproductive Biology, Microscopy, Plant Stress Physiology (Hons)

Research Interests: plant stress tolerance (low temperature and water stress), in vitro germplasm conservation, cryopreservation

Current Research Programme: In vitro Plant Stress Tolerance


Summary of Current Research

The current research programme is focused on determining the physiological and biochemical responses of in vitro tissues (shoots and buds) of Eucalyptus grandis and other commercially important Eucalyptus hybrids (E. grandis x camaldulensis and E. grandis x nitens) to abiotic stresses associated with cryopreservation. These include drying, low temperature and freezing stresses. Ultimately, the aim is to determine whether tolerance to the above stresses (particularly drying stress) can be induced in eucalypts to allow for successful cryopreservation of the in vitro buds. Of particular interest is the investigation into the possible existence of cross tolerance in Eucalyptus, i.e. whether exposure to low temperature will induce to formation of protective metabolites that may increase tolerance to subsequent drying and freezing stresses. Research is also focussed on screening methods for frost tolerance in E. grandis and other Eucalyptus hybrids, and the cellular mechanisms involved in sensitivity or tolerance to frost. This project is in collaboration with Dr Arnulf Kanzler and Andrea Louw of Sappi Forests.


Peer-reviewed Publications

Padayachee, K, Watt, M, Edwards, N and Mycock, DJ (2009). Cryopreservation as a tool for the conservation of Eucalyptus genetic variability.  Southern Forests 71(2), pp 165 - 170

Padayachee, K, Watt, MP, Edwards, N and Mycock, DJ (2008). Physiological responses of Eucalyptus in vitro axillary buds to cryopreparative desiccation and osmotic preculture: effects of abscisic acid. South African Journal of Botany 74, pp 639 - 646