CenGen - Plant & Pathogen Genomic Services

COVID-19 LOCKDOWN ANNOUNCEMENT

The CenGen laboratory has re-opened on 11 May with strict health and sanitary regulations in place in accordance with the national level 4 lockdown requirements. We are able to receive samples strictly on appointment basis only. For any queries, please contact the lab at 023 342 5994, or Renée Prins at cengen@cengen.co.za. Our office hours during this period are 08:00 – 16:30, Monday to Friday.

We wish all of our colleagues, clients and collaborators calmness and good health during these trying times.


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
  • 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

White headed wheat = smiling scientists

White headed wheat = smiling scientists

For crop producers the presence of any disease is a dreaded and much unwelcome situation. But for researchers like us, disease is the one thing that you want most in a disease resistance trial. In fact, most trials are inoculated with the pathogen in question to ensure that resistant and susceptible plants in the trial… Read More »

Pruning out the genetics of plums

Pruning out the genetics of plums

We are always excited when we get requests for something “new” that we haven’t worked on before. One such request was from Provar, an independent cultivar evaluation company, who wanted to see whether there was a genetic reason for low fruit set observed in some local Japanese plum orchards. Together with Carl Hörstmann, we could determine… Read More »

DIPLOMICS connects SA Agri-industry with Omics

DIPLOMICS connects SA Agri-industry with Omics

CenGen gratefully acknowledges the role that the DIPLOMICS network plays in strengthening our service capacity to the SA Agri-industry. They recently filmed footage at our laboratory and at our collaborators at SABBI and Sensako to create a profile of CenGen as part of the DIPLOMICS Network Partner Profile Series. Please click on the link below… Read More »

Surveying Ramularia (in the lab)

Surveying Ramularia (in the lab)

At CenGen we strive towards doing relevant research that can be applied directly to benefit the agricultural industry. One such project is the development of a molecular tool for the rapid identification of the seed borne fungus Ramularia collo-cygni (Rcc). This will enable producers to make quick decisions about the treatment of their barley fields.… Read More »

No lockdown on knowledge transfer

No lockdown on knowledge transfer

With the COVID pandemic and the ensuing lockdown, many events had to be postponed or even cancelled. In other cases, innovativeness and technology made it possible for the event to continue, albeit in a different format. September usually is one of the busiest months at CenGen, with field trials, producers’ days and meetings at the… Read More »

Budding new intern technician joins CenGen on Spring day

Budding new intern technician joins CenGen on Spring day

On September 1st, with snow-capped mountains in the background, Benny Leriba has put down his roots in Worcester to work at CenGen as an intern, sponsored by the South African Cultivar & Technology Agency (SACTA). Already on his first day he had to spring into action with Alana showing him the ropes on entering accessions… Read More »

New SACTA intern joins CenGen

New SACTA intern joins CenGen

CenGen is excited to announce that Katlego Bennet Leriba will be joining the team at the start of September. He will assume the role of an intern laboratory technician, specifically working alongside Kelly Breeds on the Barley research and commercial projects. This position is made possible through funding kindly provided by SACTA. CenGen had hoped… Read More »

From Cape Town to Queensland: SA Wheat Voyages Down Under

From Cape Town to Queensland: SA Wheat Voyages Down Under

Another milestone was reached this month in our mission to explore Fusarium Crown Rot (FCR) resistance in wheat. The South African doubled haploid population used in this study was sent to our Australian collaborators late in 2018. After some time spent in quarantine, the population was released and has made it to the field. The… Read More »

Cold fronts and quarantine? The field work must go on!

Cold fronts and quarantine? The field work must go on!

Last year, we at CenGen were excited to announce the planting of the first field trial for our research project exploring the genetics behind Fusarium Crown Rot (FCR) resistance in wheat.  By combining disease scoring information (resulting from the 2019 trial) with high throughput genotyping data we were able to gain some preliminary information about… Read More »