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Faculty of Science and Technology

Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences

Dr. Angela Alleyne

Dr. Angela Alleyne

Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry

Programme Coordinator, Biosafety

Department: BCS

Bio

I have always had an interest in geography and biology. I therefore started with the study of geology at UWI Mona and continued into Biochemistry with a focus on plant biology. I earned my PhD in Biology studying yam anthracnose disease caused by a fungal pathogen and then did Postdoctoral Research (2001-2003) at the University of Nebraska.  There, I worked on the genetic relationships of the bean rust pathogen Uromyces apppendiculatus populations. Afterwards, I also worked as an Assistant Professor in Biology at Edward Waters College in Jackonville, FL (2003-2008). I returned to UWI and continued research into diseases of tropical root crops viz, cassava, yam and sweet potato. These crops are important for food security and represent a resilient tool in our arsenal against climate change.  Biology and geography remain constant themes, although now enhanced by my research in molecular markers using Bioinformatics, metagenomics and molecular diagnostics of plant diseases.
 

Qualifications

B.Sc. (1990), M.Phil. (1997), Ph.D. (UWI) (2000)
 

Research Areas

My research career has focused on the use of molecular biology techniques in understanding and diagnosing plant diseases in tropical root crops of importance to the Caribbean viz. yam, sweet potato and cassava. I have been an active member of the American Phytopathology Society since 2003 and currently serve as a Senior editor for the journal Plant Health Progress.  In 2014, I assumed the position of Programme Coordinator of the Masters in Biosafety, the only taught Master’s programme in the Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences. In 2017, I won the UWI Principal’s award for excellence in teaching, research and service.  

My research focusses on Plant Pathology and the use of techniques in molecular biology, bioinformatics and genomics to understand the pathogen population in plant diseases.  Along eth way we have learnt much more about our local varieties of these important crops.
Three areas of significant study include:

  1. Super-elongation disease in cassava: Super-elongation is caused by a fungus called Sphaceloma manihoticola and I have worked on molecular markers for early diagnosis, screened the fungal population using metagenomics in cassava in Jamaica, Trinidad, St. Vincent and Barbados and examined the disease dynamics locally in a three year study on incidence and severity.
  2. Sweet potato virus diseases: Working alongside researchers in Peru at the International Potato Center, we have screened some varieties in Barbados for viruses using genomics.  I have also worked with researchers CARDI in examining drought tolerance in sweet potato varieties in the Caribbean. 
  3. Genetic variation (polymorphisms) in uterine leiomyoma (fibroids) in Barbados: We have examined several single nucleotide polymorphisms or genetic changes in the Barbados population among women with fibroids. 

Teaching Areas

Biochemistry, Protein Biochemistry
Plant Pathology,
Bioinformatics
Biotechnology
Biosafety

Select Publications

Alleyne, A. T., Cummins, C., James, M., Guitierrez, D. and Fuentes, S. (2019) Sequencing and assembly of siRNA from the sweet potato leaf virome reveal the presence of two symptomless virus families affecting sweet potato in Barbados. Journal of Plant Pathology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42161-018-00214-1.
Bideau V. S. and Alleyne, A. T. (2018) A preliminary study of fatty acid synthase gene and the risk of uterine leiomyoma in an Afro-Caribbean female population.  Meta Gene 19:74-77: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mgene.2018.10.011

Alleyne, A. T. and Gilkes, J. G. (2018) Molecular diagnosis of super-elongation disease in field and laboratory grown cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) plants. Tropical Agriculture. 95(2): 57-64. ISSN: 0041-3216.

Alleyne, A. T., Gilkes, J.M. and Briggs, G. (2014) Early detection of Super-elongation disease in Manihot esculenta Crantz (cassava) using molecular markers for gibberellic acid biosynthesis   European Journal of Plant Pathology,141:27-34.

Araya, C. M., A. T. Alleyne, J. R. Steadman, K. M. Eskridge, and D. P. Coyne. (2004) Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of Uromyces appendiculatus from Phaseolus vulgaris in the Americas. Plant Disease, 88(8): 830-836.

Additional Info

https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=wbQyoO8AAAAJ&hl=en

Keywords

Plant pathology, genomics, biotechnology, DNA, cassava, yam, sweet potato.


Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences
Telephone: (246) 417-4324/4323/4322 Fax:(246) 417-4325 Email: bcs@cavehill.uwi.edu