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14 June 2018 Photo Charl Devenish
June graduations to highlight graduates achievements
Graduates will be celebrating their accomplishments at the June Graduation ceremonies.

June 2018 graduates from the University of the Free State (UFS) Bloemfontein Campus are beginning to prepare for their upcoming graduations. The ceremonies are scheduled to take place at the Callie Human Centre from Wednesday 27 June until Friday 29 June 2018.

The UFS plans to document and highlight the special moments that graduates encounter at this time. A daily update accompanied by photos will be available on the UFS website.

Visit the UFS graduation ceremonies page for more information on the upcoming events. Graduates and students are free to familiarise themselves with the Graduation Guide Booklet which stipulates the necessary information for students to note during the graduation processions.
 
The Graduate Career Guide is also of vital importance as it equips graduates with fundamental knowledge and practical advice about preparing for the world of work.

A livestream link will be provided for the different graduation processions closer towards the time.

Graduation ceremonies for the different faculties take place on the following dates:

Wednesday 27 June 2018
09:00 School of Financial Planning Law
All qualifications.

Programme

14:30 School of Open and Distance Learning
Certificates

Programme

Thursday 28 June 2018
09:00 All faculties except for Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Master’s and doctoral degrees

Programme

14:30 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Master’s and doctoral degrees

Programme

Friday 29 June 2018
09:00 NO SESSION

14:30 School of Open and Distance Learning
Diplomas

Programme

News Archive

Plant scientist, Prof Zakkie Pretorius, contributes to food security with his research
2014-08-26

 
Many plant pathologists spend entire careers trying to outwit microbes, in particular those that cause diseases of economically important plants. In some cases control measures are simple and successful. In others, disease management remains an ongoing battle. 

Prof Zakkie Pretorius, Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, works on a group of wheat diseases known as rusts. The name is derived from the powdery and brown appearance of these fungi.

Over the course of history wheat rusts have undergone what are notoriously known as boom and bust cycles. During boom periods the disease is controlled by means of heritable resistance in a variety, resulting in good yields. This resistance, though, is more often than not busted by the appearance of new rust strains with novel parasitic abilities. For resistance to remain durable, complex combinations of effective genes and chromosome regions have to be added in a single wheat variety.

In recent years, Prof Pretorius has focused on identifying and characterising resistance sources that have the potential to endure the onslaught of new rust races. His group has made great progress in the control of stripe rust – where several chromosome regions conditioning effective resistance have been identified.

Dr Renée Prins of CenGen and an affiliated UFS staff member, developed molecular markers for these resistance sources. These are now routinely applied in wheat breeding programmes in South Africa. In addition, Prof Pretorius collaborates with several countries to transfer newly discovered stem rust resistance genes to wheat, and in characterising effective sources of resistance in existing wheat collections.

His work is closely supported by research conducted by UFS colleagues, students and other partners on the genetics of the various wheat rust pathogens. These studies aim to answer questions about:
• the origin and relatedness of rust races,
• their highly successful parasitic ability, and
• their adaptation in different environments.

The UFS wheat rust programme adds significantly to the development of resistant varieties and thus more sustainable production of this important crop. 

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