CenGen - Plant & Pathogen Genomic Services

CenGen offers various genomics-related services to plant breeders, producers and agricultural-related industries. The focus is to implement and utilise high-throughput molecular technologies in various applications involving crop and horticultural plants as well as fungi (e.g. wheat, barley, maize, grapevine, citrus, deciduous fruit- and nut trees, truffles and a range of plant pathogens).

We are flexible in terms of experimental layout and sample size and customise projects according to every client’s needs.

Applications Include:

  • Cultivar identity determinations and purity testing using DNA fingerprinting techniques
  • Agricultural pathogen detection
  • Confirmation of the presence or absence of specific genes to assist in selection of breeding lines (marker-assisted selection)
  • Confirmation of species’ identity (e.g. for truffle production)
  • CenGen is also engaged in Research and Development by means of our involvement in various academic research projects in which we develop many of the tools we apply to the benefit of the industry

Latest News, Events & Articles

A second opportunity in June to promote Plant Genetics

A second opportunity in June to promote Plant Genetics

Raising awareness about genetics applications in agriculture is very important to our team. Shortly after our first teachers’ workshop, Dr Shane Murray, research specialist at CenGen, was invited to give a guest lecture to 27 students enrolled for an Advanced Diploma in Biotechnology at CPUT. With the topic The use of Molecular Markers in Plant… Read More »

Reaching out and drawing in: telling teachers about our trade

Reaching out and drawing in: telling teachers about our trade

Over the past few years, we’ve had many requests from learners for job shadowing at our laboratory. We did however notice that it was only learners from the same schools who contacted us, and we realised that more awareness about genetics as a career choice, specifically in agriculture, had to be created. With the help… Read More »

Benny and the jet(s)

Benny and the jet(s)

Doing repairs to the beat of Elton John When Benny Leriba joined the team in September last year he didn’t expect to do work other than molecular genetics. But, given COVID and the resulting flight restrictions it became necessary for us to “mechanic” our robotic instruments from LGC Biosearch Technologies – a UK based company… Read More »

A two week long quest to get the hang of Genomic Selection

A two week long quest to get the hang of Genomic Selection

Genomic selection (GS) is a genetics tool that involves selecting individuals in a breeding population (plants or animals) according to their entire genetic potential for a trait, rather than because of the presence of a specific gene associated with that trait. Since the early 2010s, this tool has been applied in plant breeding to improve… Read More »

DIPLOMICS provides opportunities to learn

DIPLOMICS provides opportunities to learn

CenGen was once again privileged to be the recipient of a training course from ThermoFisher Scientific, sponsored by DIPLOMICS. We have been part of the DIPLOMICS group of laboratories since 2018– a partnership which has proven to be truly beneficial. Apart from instrumentation, service contracts and training – all invaluable elements of a well-functioning laboratory… Read More »

Transferring skills and pathogens all in one sitting

Transferring skills and pathogens all in one sitting

Knowledge and skills transfer is something we value greatly at CenGen. We have an internal drive to ensure that no skill, responsibility or process is mastered by only one staff member at the time in order to ensure sustainability and progress. Debbie Snyman, being the first staff member to be employed at CenGen in 2005,… Read More »

Congratulations to our collaborator!

Congratulations to our collaborator!

We would like to applaud Professor Willem Boshoff on recently earning the title of Associate Professor in Department Plant Sciences at the University of the Free State. Willem is a much valued, longstanding collaborator of CenGen. In his capacity as wheat breeder at Pannar Seed (Pty) Ltd he initially was part of our molecular service… Read More »

What pecan is this? Detective CenGen “Holmes” comes to Prieska

What pecan is this? Detective CenGen “Holmes” comes to Prieska

For research scientists, a “quick fix” is basically a foreign concept. Research and development takes time, and often a project runs over multiple years before an answer (and a scientific publication) is reached. Therefore, when we get to put our applied science coats on it is very satisfying when we are able to provide a… Read More »

Plant breeders from Africa celebrated

Plant breeders from Africa celebrated

The Southern African Plant Breeders’ Association (SAPBA) has recently announced the twenty most influential plant breeders in Africa for 2020. We are proud to be able to say that some of our long standing colleagues and collaborators have been included in this list (available for download below). Congratulations to all and thank you for the… Read More »