Safa A. Alzohairy

Graduate Student
Ph.D. Research: Phytophthora capsici of winter squash

Safa Alzohairy

Safa in her squash research plot.

Email Safa: 164 Plant Biology Lab
517-355-4576

  • M.Sc., Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Egypt
  • B.Sc., Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Egypt

My project is to study the developmental phenomenon of age-related resistance (ARR) of winter squash (Cucurbita moschata) fruit  to the virulent plant pathogen Phtytophthora capsici.  Winter squash fruits show susceptibility to P. capsici at young age while they turn to become resistant at old age, this is known as ARR or ontogenic resistance.  My research is to investigate the genetic, structural, and biochemical basis of winter squash fruit peel ARR to P. capsici.  We hypothesize that squash fruit cell wall has a major role in the defense mechanism against P. capsici and this role will be investigated through transcriptomic studies, phytochemical analyses and cell wall imaging.  Studying the winter squash ARR will be beneficial to Phytophthora management through determining the optimal time for fungicide treatment.  In addition, this research aims to provide genetic and biochemical information that will be useful for breeders in order to develop markers to aid in marker-assisted selection programs for developing resistant squash varieties to P. capsici.

Safa’s Publications

Alzohairy, S.A., Hammerschmidt, R., and Hausbeck, M.K.  2017.  Characterization of the structural basis of winter squash fruit age-related resistance to Phytophthora capsici.  Abstract.  Phytopathology 107(12S):S5-120.

Alzohairy, S., and Hausbeck, M.  2015.  Transcriptomic profiling of Cucurbita species to characterize the age-related resistance against Phytophthora capsici.  Page 19 in: Proceedings of the 1st International Soilborne Oomycete Conference, Duck Key, FL, 8-10 Dec.