Marizanne Horn joined the CenGen laboratory in January 2018 as an industry placement by Sensako (Pty) Ltd. Marizanne has a Master’s degree in Plant Breeding from Stellenbosch University. Her previous position at the Sensako Napier Experimental Farm as the Doubled Haploid Manager entailed the production of doubled haploids for all Sensako’s wheat breeding programmes, as well as the planning and co-ordination of molecular genomics applications in these programmes in collaboration with CenGen’s MSL team.
With her placement at CenGen, Marizanne retained her responsibilities on the genomics aspects of the wheat breeding programmes. She now also focuses on the integration of molecular genomics work in Sensako’s sunflower breeding programme which was established as part of the company’s drive to diversify into other crops. Marker technologies are used to screen inbred lines for purity, determine genetic diversity and integrate useful traits. This collaborative effort between Sensako and CenGen illustrates how knowledge from the CenGen team can be transferred to, and implemented directly by industry, without duplicating expensive genomic technologies. The partnership has created a platform to use the most recent genomics technologies for Sensako’s respective breeding programmes as they are developed by the scientific community.