Current research projects in Plant Breeding

  • Wheat gluten proteomics, and its application in wheat quality breeding: in collaboration with the University of Tuscia, Italy (Prof MT Labuschagne)
  • Gluten proteins and their influence on bread making quality: in collaboration with the Swedish Agricultural University (Prof MT Labuschagne)
  • Breeding for improved wheat quality in South African germplasm: in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) in Bethlehem. (Prof MT Labuschagne)
  • Breeding for enhanced beta carotene content in maize, cassava and plantain: in collaboration with IITA in Nigeria, and Harvestplus (Prof MT Labuschagne)
  • Breeding for enhanced beta carotene content in sweet potato: in collaboration ARC, VOPI, Pretoria (Prof MT Labuschagne)
  • Breeding for maize lethal necrosis (MLN) resistance in maize: in collaboration with CIMMYT, Kenya (Prof MT Labuschagne)
  • Breeding for enhanced iron and zinc in maize: in collaboration with the ARC, Potchefstroom (Prof MT Labuschagne)
  • Drought tolerance, low nitrogen and low phosphorous breeding in maize: in collaboration CIMMYT Kenya and Zimbabwe (Prof MT Labuschagne)
  • Breeding for stability in sugarcane: in collaboration South African Sugar Research Institute and the Mauritius Sugar Research Institute (Prof MT Labuschagne)
  • Marker-assisted introgression of different rust resistance genes as well as Fusarium head blight resistance into SA wheat cultivars (MSc MJP Steinigeweg and PhD A Maré funded by the Winter Cereal Trust) (Prof L Herselman)
  • Improved Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance in the South African cultivar Krokodil (MSc KP Mmereki) (Prof L Herselman)
  • Genetics of stem rust resistance in South African winter wheat varieties (PhD M Chemonges; INTRA-ACP student) (Prof L Herselman)
  • Evaluation of rust and Fusarium head blight resistant lines for bread-making qualities using marker-assisted selection and biochemical tests (in collaboration with ARC-Small Grains Institute, funded by THRIP) (Prof L Herselman)
  • Development of a Fusarium head blight resistant backcross two derived recombinant inbred line (RIL) population (Prof L Herselman)
  • Development of new tools for cassava brown streak disease resistance breeding (PhD F Kapinga in collaboration with IITA-Nairobi, Kenya) (Prof L Herselman)
  • Genetics of stem rust resistance in selected wheat germplasm (PhD M Ashamos in collaboration with ICARDA) (Prof L Herselman)
  • Genetic variability of carotenoids and polyploid induction towards vitamin A bio-fortification in plantains (PhD) (Dr A van Biljon)
  • The influence of abiotic stress on CIMMYT pro-vitamin A elite maize germplasm (PhD) (Dr A van Biljon)
  • Development of maize inbred lines for low nitrogen and drought stress environments (PhD) (Dr A van Biljon)
  • Genetic diversity, agronomic performance and nutritional status of maize (Zea mays L) landraces from Swaziland (PhD) (Dr A van Biljon)
  • Nutritional value and secondary metabolites in selected South African bread wheat cultivars (MSc Agric) (Dr A van Biljon)
  • Induced mutation and distant hybridisation as breeding technique to improve papaya (MSc Agric) (Dr A van Biljon)
  • Correlation between genetic distances and heterosis in maize (Zea mays l.) (MSc Agric) (Dr A van Biljon)
  • Factors contributimg to sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS)-sedimentation in irrigation wheat (MSc Agric) (Dr A van Biljon)
  • Improved separation of polymeric and monomeric protein fractions using a high resolution column (MSc Agric) (Dr A van Biljon)
  • Genetic diversity of Cleome species in South Africa (MSc Agric) (Dr A van Biljon)
  • The identification of genetic diversity for nutritional value in amaranth (ARC - CC project, 2 Hons students) (Dr A van Biljon)
  • Biodiversity in Bambara: in collaboration with the ARC, Potchefstroom and Pretoria and Durban University of Technology (Dr NG Lebaka)
  • Evaluation of drought tolerance in soybean using selected morphological and biochemical traits (Dr R van der Merwe)
  • Stability of Edamame (Glycine max) introductions under South African production conditions. (Dr R van der Merwe)
  • Pod shattering and drought tolerance in selected edamame (Glycine max L. Merrill) genotypes. (Dr R van der Merwe)
  • Family and parent evaluation for sugarcane yield in early stage breeding populations in South Africa. (MSc project in collaboration with the South African Sugarcane Research Institute). (Dr R van der Merwe)
  • Genotype by environment interaction for growth parameters of Pinus elliotti x Pinus caribaea F1 progeny. (MSc project in collaboration with Komatiland Forests). (Dr R van der Merwe)
  • Soybean cultivar selection for improved yield and yield stability (PhD project in collaboration with the Edamame Development Program, South Africa). (Dr R van der Merwe)
  • Genotypic and phenotypic analysis of drought tolerance in soybean in Malawi. (PhD project in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Research Services, Malawi). (Dr R van der Merwe)
  • Assessment of genetic variation of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum populations in South Africa: in collaboration with the ARC Grain Crops Institute, Potchefstroom (Dr A Minnaar-Ontong)
  • Genotypic and phenotypic variation of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum populations in commercial sunflower and soybean fields in South Africa (MSc C Meyer) (Dr A Minnaar-Ontong)
  • Breeding for resistance to pod shattering in edamame (Glycine max L.) cultivars. (MSc SP Moos) (Dr A Minnaar-Ontong)
  • Development of Fusarium Wilt resistant lines in South African of Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] (MSc WM Mphela) (Dr A Minnaar-Ontong)


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531


Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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