CenGen - Plant & Pathogen Genomic Services

COVID-19 LOCKDOWN ANNOUNCEMENT

The CenGen laboratory will be closing at 17:00 on 26 March 2020 in accordance with the national lockdown announced by our government, and will remain so for the duration thereof. During this time, our staff members can be reached by email. For any queries, please contact Renée Prins at cengen@cengen.co.za or on 082 835 2703. Our office hours remain 08:00 – 17:00, 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

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From 24-28 February 2020, CenGen and Stellenbosch University had the privilege of welcoming three expert trainers from the UK and colleagues from across a range of South African research institutions for the third Bioinformatics and Wheat Genomics Workshop held at the Stellenbosch University Ukwanda campus in Worcester. This course, building on the success of the… Read More »

Seeds by the thousands

Seeds by the thousands

Kelly Breeds and Mignon de Jager recently visited SABBI to prepare for the barley field trials taking place in Greytown later in the year. As part of a Winter Cereal Trust funded project (WCT/B/2018/02), two mapping populations have been developed using accessions that provide resistance against stem rust, but do not carry the well-known Rpg1… Read More »

Dr Xolelwa Zulu joins the CenGen team as an Independent Director

Dr Xolelwa Zulu joins the CenGen team as an Independent Director

CenGen is extremely privileged to announce that Dr Xolelwa Zulu has been appointed as Independent Director of the company as from the 9th of December 2019. Dr Prins was first introduced to Xolelwa on a scientific tour to the UK, hosted by the British High Commission and Agbiz Grain. At the time, Xolelwa was the… Read More »

Kicking 2020 off with project meetings with breeders

Kicking 2020 off with project meetings with breeders

On 20 January, Marizanne Horn and Elsabet Wessels undertook the trek to Bethlehem, Free State, for project meetings with colleagues at the local Sensako breeding station.  Marizanne, an employee of Sensako and industry placement at CenGen, met with Roean Wessels, Sensako’s sunflower breeder. Elsabet, who is responsible for the wheat MAS programme at CenGen, met… Read More »

Genetics for the kids

Genetics for the kids

In an exciting new venture at CenGen, we are exploring the possibility of getting involved with science education in collaboration with the Cape Winelands Education District (CWED). Brian Wilson (Dr) and Edgar Johannes from the CWED visited us on Wednesday, 18 December, to discuss how CenGen can contribute to creating awareness among primary and high… Read More »

UK and SA experts build CenGen’s first bioinformatics computer

UK and SA experts build CenGen’s first bioinformatics computer

Ending off the year with a BLAST, CenGen just took the next step to integrate bioinformatics into their workflow through the installation of their first dedicated Bioinformatics server. This was achieved with the assistance of the consulting firm of Dr Tjelvar Olsson and Mr Jan Marais (iMotion). Upon recognising the dire need for South African… Read More »

Phenotyping meets genotyping

Phenotyping meets genotyping

At CenGen we love to share our science and what we do with others – be it in a formal, academic journal or in an informal setting with the general public as audience. On 28 November, the staff from Sensako’s Research Station at Napier visited our laboratory. Their expertise is in field trial and glasshouse… Read More »

Brave Englishman visits the CenGen herd

Brave Englishman visits the CenGen herd

In the week ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2019 final in Japan, the whole of South Africa is swept up with Bok-fever for our clash with the English Roses on Saturday, 2 November. At CenGen we had the pleasure to host Mr Harry Bennett, service engineer from LGC, UK, to perform the first annual preventative maintenance service on our KASPTM SNPline XL instruments after they were placed in the laboratory in May 2018.
Read More »

Connecting over a cold one

Connecting over a cold one

This September saw Kelly Breeds and Daniël de Klerk (breeder at South African Barley Breeding Institute) travel to Perth, Western Australia, to attend the 19th Australian Barley Technical Symposium. It was Kelly’s first and Daniël’s third attendance at this symposium, which is held on a biennial basis. Read More »