ACGT partners and affiliate (the University of Limpopo) once again gathered for a day of research and networking under the auspice of the 4th ACGT Regional Plant Biotechnology Forum. The forum was held on the 20th of October 2011, at the ARC head office in Hatfield, Pretoria. The event was graciously sponsored by Whitehead Scientific. Hosts, the ARC, made available their auditorium for a day dedicated to current research in the area of plant biotechnology. Members of the SABINA (Southern African Biochemistry and Informatics for Natural Products) network attended the forum as part of their four-day training workshop being held at in South Africa at the time of the forum. Dr Shadrack Moephuli (President and CEO- ARC), Prof Mohammed Jeena (Director of Research and Development- ARC) and Mr Motlatjo Makaepea (Director of Technology Development- GDARD) were also in attendance.
With over 90 delegates present, the day got underway with a welcome by Dr Jasper Rees (Head of the ARC’s Biotechnology Platform). UP professor, and ARC specialist scientist, Gerhard Pietersen, presented his current work on members of the Closteroviradae affecting grapevine and citrus. Other featured research included Eucalyptus gene assembly (Dr Charles Hefer- UP) and molecular characterisation of elicitor-responsive genes in cotton (Dr Sonia Phillips- UP). Prof Bongani Ndimba presented a talk on the ARC’s new proteomics service unit. Mr Fidel Tugizamama also presented current research, being conducted at UJ biochemistry under the supervision of Prof Ian Dubery, describing ergosterol induced metabolic changes in Tabacco cells. In addition fifteen student posters were also showcased during tea and the afternoon poster session.
Incorporating suggestions put forward by participants at the 3rd ACGT Regional Plant Biotechnology Forum, student presentations (both oral and posters) as wells as presentations on intellectual property rights (IP) were included in the day’s proceedings. Mr At van Rooy (DM Kisch Inc) and Ms Chyreene Truluck (TIA) both enlightened the audience on commercialisation and IP protection in relation to plant biotechnology. Considering the substantial growth in attendance, especially the increasing student participation in the forum as well as the coverage of a wide range of topics, some of which scientists wouldn’t normally be exposed to in their field, the forum can indeed be considered successful.
The next forum will be held in April/May 2012 at the University of the Witwatersrand. Keep an eye on “Upcoming events” on the ACGT website for further information on the event. For more information or enquiries, contact Dr John Becker, Ms Jessika Samuels or Mr Mandisi Sithole.
Download presentations from the forum:
- 4th Regional Plant Biotechnology Forum
property protection of genetically
modified plants (Mr At van Rooy – DM Kisch Inc)
- Virus epidemiology dictates control
lessons from members of the Closteroviridae affecting grapevines and
citrus (Prof Gerhard Pietersen – ARC/ UP)
- Molecular characterisation of
genes in cotton (Dr Sonia Phillips – UP)
gene assembly (Dr
Charles Hefer – UP)
- Commercialisation of intellectual property
Chyreene Truluck – TIA)
- Agricultural and plant proteomics in South
introducing the ARC’s new proteomics research and services unit (Prof
Bongani Ndimba – ARC/UWC)