Prof John Brand at the GFRR
1. The research includes a molecular investigation of Valley Bushveld plant species and the identification of plant species consumed by herbivores by analysis of their dung. The research objective will be used to assess the level of competition for plant resources between the different herbivores on the reserve, which may be of value to game managers attempting to establish the carrying capacity of the land. A plant DNA chloroplast gene, matK, will be investigated as a potential “DNA barcode” for the differentiation of plants isolation from black rhinoceros dung collected from Shamwari game reserve.
Supplementary information for the journal article "Identification of plants in black rhinoceros dung using the rbcL gene as a molecular marker:
2. A drug metabolism by liver microsomal systems project is of interest in doping control industry and drug in development. The P450 enzyme system metabolizes foreign compounds to assist with their elimination. For doping control, knowledge of metabolites of new “illicit” drugs is essential for determining drug abuse. Compounds isolated from indigenous alga off Eastern Cape coast have shown anti-cancer activity against breast cells and cancer stem cells. In the interests of further developing these compounds as an anti-cancer drugs, we are interested in conducting preliminary toxicity and pharmacokinetics analyses using the microsomal system.
3. A third research interest is the biochemical analysis of mead which contains a variety of flavour compounds originating from the honey, the pollen and secondary metabolites produced during fermentation. These compounds are important as they influence the aroma, flavour, and appearance of the final product. The project will investigate different meads to determine important biomarkers produced during fermentation and maturation.
Slovakian Meadery visit 2009