Lizaan gained valuable experience in wheat rust pathology during her MSc Agric (Plant Pathology) study at the University of the Free State. After the completion of this degree, she worked in the fruit export trade and later managed an olive tree nursery. Lizaan is responsible for the management, data analysis and data reporting of CenGen’s commercial projects which include an increasing demand from horticultural industry for various applications. She furthermore manages a barley research project and works closely with Kelly in serving the malting barley industry.
Debbie has a BSc (Genetics, Microbiology) degree from Stellenbosch University. She has extensive experience in a large range of molecular disciplines, including DNA-related techniques, plant tissue- and animal cell culture, as well as various types of chromatographic and biochemical techniques. She is responsible for the bulk of the molecular data generated for the commercial and research projects across all plant and pathogen species processed at CenGen.
Kelly obtained her MSc Degree in Genetics through the University of Stellenbosch in December 2017. She joined the CenGen team in May 2017 as a barley intern researcher. Her focus is to become an expert in the utilisation and implementation of barley genomic resources to assist the barley breeders in their endeavours to breed improved malting barley varieties.
Corneli obtained her MSc (Plant Genetics) degree from Stellenbosch University in 2013, after which she joined the CenGen team in 2014. She is responsible for the wheat research branch of the company where the focus is on the identification of new genetic resistance sources to wheat pathogens. The downstream goal is to develop molecular markers that can trace these resistance sources in breeding programmes and thus be applied in the Molecular Service Laboratory. She also plays a key role in a collaborative effort with Dr Simon Krattinger (Zürich University) in the team’s attempt to clone the first wheat disease resistance gene in South Africa.
Elsabet joined the CenGen team in 2011 after completing a Master’s degree in Genetics at Stellenbosch University. She manages the Molecular Service Laboratory (MSL) programme which handles the “DNA work” of the South African wheat breeding programmes of Pannar Seed and Sensako. The MSL programme uses molecular markers to track useful disease resistance, quality and agronomic traits in the breeding material. It focusses on high throughput data generation and employs marker technologies such as fluorescently labelled SSRs, qPCR assays and KASP SNPTM markers to achieve this goal. Since MSL’s inception in 2011 more than 500 000 data points have been generated for the wheat breeding community.
Alana obtained a National Diploma in Food Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 2016. Apart from ‘in-service training’ at Parmalat, she also worked at RCL Foods. She is currently a trainee laboratory technician at CenGen where she is being introduced to the field of plant molecular genomics. She assists with data generation in the Molecular Service Laboratory and wheat research projects.