THE ACGT DATABASE

The ACGT database is a compilation of biosciences research skills, techniques and specialised equipment of scientists at the University of Witwatersrand, University of Pretoria, CSIR, University of Johannesburg and the Agricultural Research Council. ACGT is instrumental in creating an awareness of the regional research activities and programmes. It was created to stimulate coordination of research efforts between the partner institutions and provide a platform for future collaborations.

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Research Programme Detail

Research Programme NameEvolutionary Genetics Group
Research Programme DescriptionI am primarily interested in how micro evolutionary processes scale up to result in macro evolutionary patterns. To study this question I use a combination of evolutionary modelling and applying it to data collected from various organisms. In South Africa we use the Ficus microcosm, which includes fig wasps, fungus, nematodes and mites coevolving in the same niche to test hypotheses. My research is primarily concerned with phenotypes (phenomics) – a somewhat neglected field in the “omics” age and the eventual goal is to map genotypic variation to phenotypic variation in this system. Currently we know very little of the genetics of these organisms, but are looking into newer techniques, such as RAD sequencing in order to sequence large parts of their genomes, as well as to quantify genetic variation at the SNP level
Research Programme TechniquesEvolutionary modelling
Research Programme KeywordsMacroevolution, microevolution, adaptation, Ficus microcosm, phenomics
Research FieldGenetics
Responsible PersonPienaar, Jason

Associated Scientists

Last Name First Name Title E-mail Address Department & Institution
Pienaar Jason Dr Jason.pienaar@up.ac.za Genetics, University of Pretoria