Department of Genetics



Department of Genetics

Programme co-ordinator: Mr Willem Botes

Tel: +27 (0)21 808 2637



Institute for Plant Biotechnology (IPB)

Programme co-ordinator: Prof Jens Kossmann

Tel: +27 (0)21 808 3836




The Department of Genetics has well-developed research projects covering a wide range of topics. These include small grain breeding (triticale, wheat and rye); molecular characterisation of grapevine virus diseases and development of virus resistance; the transfer of wide-spectrum anti-viral genes to specific cultivars; and cereal genomics and plant-insect interactions (i.e. host resistance against Russian wheat aphid).

Research is also carried out on human genetic diseases; mainly on the molecular genetics of iron- and haem-related diseases such as variegate porphyria and drug metabolism.

Aquaculture projects include the breeding of marine and freshwater aquatic species for amongst others improved growth rate and the genetic management of various fish and shellfish species by molecular marker analysis.

The Institute for Plant Biotechnology offers many interdisciplinary programmes, but specialises in the characterisation and manipulation of primary carbon metabolism in plants. The ultimate goal is to manipulate the relevant metabolic pathways to improve yield and quality, or to produce novel, high-value products in plants.

Postgraduate qualifications

(Visit the links below for Calendar information on the programmes' curricula)

MScAgric in Genetics

PhD or PhD (Agric) in Genetics

DSc in Genetics