Conference 2018

Symposium Final Announcement

12th Southern African Plant Breeding Symposium

11-15th March 2018

Gateway Hotel, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

Big Data and Breeding Technologies


Dear Colleague,

It is difficult to believe but the 12th Southern African Plant Breeding Symposium at the Gateway Hotel, Umhlanga, is around the corner. We would also like to confirm that we could secure all our keynote speakers for the symposium. We will host three international and three national keynote speakers.

Additionally, we are also proud to announce that the Symposium will host an annual mini student Plant Sciences Symposium sponsored by the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. The Plant Sciences Symposia series is an international series that provides students the opportunity to interact with experts in the private as well as public domain. The goal of the series is to improve collaboration and problem solving amongst universities, government organisations and the agricultural industry. This year at the Symposium four sponsored students will be presenting alongside Dr. Geoff Graham, DowDuPont Global Research Vice President, Plant Breeding.

Below you will find some final announcements and important information. Please remember to visit our website at for updates and all previous documentation (including the previous announcements) and short CV’s of all keynote speakers. We will also be hosting a panel discussion on “Plant Breeders of the future” where we would like to have open discussions on the future of plant breeding, future skills required for breeders, career opportunities and women in plant breeding. Questions can be submitted to the committee prior to the panel discussion, by Tuesday evening.


With best regards


Elizma Joubert

On behalf of the SAPBA executive committee

Registration desk

The registration and information desk will be situated in the foyer area of the hotel for the duration of the meeting. The desk will be open on:

Sunday 11 March 17:00-18:30

Monday 12 March 07:00-08:15

Tuesday 13 March 07:30-08:30

Wednesday 14 March 07:30-08:30

Delegates are encouraged to register before and during the cocktail function (Sunday afternoon and evening) to ensure the timely opening of the conference on Monday at 08:15.


The official language of the symposium will be English. No simultaneous translation services will be provided.

Oral presentations

All computer presentations must be checked for viruses and should reach Driaan Bresler at least one session before your presentation, i.e. if you present the following morning you must submit by the tea/coffee break the previous day. Please note that presenters will not be allowed to use their own computers. Due to the large number of presentations received, oral presentations will be limited to 15 minutes (12 minutes presentation and 3 minutes’ discussion). We request speakers to adhere to their allocated time. Session chairpersons will enforce this to ensure that we keep to the scheduled programme.

Poster presentations

Posters will be displayed for the duration of the symposium in the foyer and Umdoni 3 area of the hotel. All delegates presenting a poster are kindly requested to put up their posters by no later than the first poster session on Monday, 11 March at 10:00. Posters should not exceed 1200 mm (length) and 850 mm (width). A suitable adhesive will be supplied. All posters must be removed on Wednesday afternoon after the last session ended.

Name badges

All participants must wear their name badges at all times during the symposium. Badges should also be worn when attending the events on the social programme.


Please note that all tea/coffee breaks will be served in die lobby area of the hotel. Locations for lunches will be announced during the symposium. If you have any specialised dietary needs please inform the symposium organisers. Delegates will be held responsible for any costs incurred due to specialised dietary needs.


The symposium venue is a non-smoking area.

E-mail and Wi-Fi access

No computers will be made available to delegates for reading e-mail and/or to access the internet. However, most public areas in the hotel have free Wi-Fi access. Information regarding Wi-Fi use can be obtained from the hotel’s registration desk.


Parking Vouchers, One Per Delegate – these vouchers are valid for all parking areas in The Gateway Theatre of Shopping Centre.

Cell phones

Delegates are requested to switch off all cell phones and pagers during the symposium.

Airport transfers

The hotel does provide a shuttle service to and from the airport. To arrange for shuttle service please contact or phone 031 536 9200. Delegates must arrange their own transport to and from the airport.

Social functions

The welcoming cocktail function will be hosted at the conference area of the hotel (Umdoni 1 & 2) from 18:00 - 21:00 on Sunday, 11 March. Attendance of cocktail function has to be registered and paid for separate to registration of the conference. Access to the cocktail function will be indicated on the back of the name badges. The conference gala dinner will be held on Tuesday, 13 March in Umdoni 1. Dinner will start at 19:00. Delegates are requested to bring along their name badges to ensure access, indicated at the back of the name badges. The dress code is smart casual.

Symposium bags and booklets

Symposium bags will be made available during registration, but no symposium booklets. The registration pack will contain a flash drive with the symposium booklet (electronic format, containing keynote, oral and poster presentation abstracts and a delegate list), promotional material and items from sponsors.


Delegates who requested refunds before 31 January will be refunded in full after considering appropriate bank charges. Refunds will be processed within three weeks after the symposium. No other requests for refunds can, however, be considered. More information on the sessions will be communicated via the SAPBA website.

Honorary member’s nominations

Nomination forms for honorary members of the SAPBA will be available on the website. We have decided to extend the nominations to 2 March 2018.


All correspondence (registration, registration fees and payments and abstract submission) or general inquiries (including membership applications) can be addressed to:

Congress secretariat

Roean Wessels

Mobile: +27 (0) 82 388 0311

Office: +27 (0) 58 303 4690


Conference Programme

Sunday, 11 March

17:00-18:30 Secretariat open for registration

18:00-21:00 Meet and Greet Cocktail function


Monday, 12 March

07:30 – 08:15 Secretariat open for registration

Opening session

8:15-08:30 Official welcome and opening

08:30 - 09:00

K1: Understanding desiccation tolerance: towards climate smart


Jill Farant

09:00 - 09:15

O1: Characterization of ethyl methanesulfonate treated sugarcane callus for in vitro drought stress selection

P Dlamini

09:15 - 09:30

O2: Potential of adapted conventional hybrids and drought tolerant inbred lines for use in development of stable drought tolerant maize hybrids

C Musvosvi

09:30 - 09:45

O3: The influence of low nitrogen conditions on iron and zinc and its bioavailability in quality protein maize (QPM) hybrids

H Shawa

09:45 - 10:00

O4: Morphological responses of maize (Zea mays L.) to drought, heat and combined drought and heat stress at seedling stage

L Tandzi

10:00 - 10:30 Coffee/Tea break and poster viewing

10:30 - 10:45

O5: Using “big data” to understand quantitative resistance and susceptibility to grey leaf spot disease in maize

DK Berger

10:45 - 11:00

O6: Development of an improved assay for the detection and quantification of Ramularia collo-cyni DNA in barley tissues

K Breeds

11:00 - 11:15

O7: Family by environment interaction for Eldana saccharina borer damage in sugarcane breeding

M Lichakane

11:15 - 11:30 O8: South Africa’s big bang pathogen: Sclerotinia Sclerotiorum

C Meyer

11:30 – 11:45 O9: Improved Fusarium head blight resistance in the South African cultivar Krokodil

KP Mmereki

11:45 – 12:00

O10: Development of high yielding and insect pest resistant Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) genotypes using insect mediated crosses

KC Moloto

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:00 Biannual General Meeting

Session 2: Resistance breeding

14:00 - 14:30

K2: Conventional and unconventional breeding of banana for Fusarium

wilt resistance

Altus Viljoen

14:30 - 14:45

O11: Glasshouse screening of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] cultivars for resistance against Fusarium wilt

W Mphela

14:45 – 15:00

O12: The effect of fibre content on Eldana saccharina (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae) stalk borer damage in sugarcane and implications for resistance breeding

PD Nxumalo

15:00 – 15:15

O13: Resistance to Fusarium ear rot and fumonisin contamination in maize F1 hybrids under South African and Kenya conditions

L Rose

15:15 - 15:30

O14: Variance Components and Heritability of Traits Related to Striga Asiatica Resistance and Compatibility to Fusarium Oxysporum F.Sp. Strigae in Maize

A Shayanowako

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee/Tea break and poster viewing

16:00 – 16:15 O15: Marker haplotypes give new insight into PHS tolerance

S Sydenham

16:15 – 16:30

O16: Screening of Bambara groundnut genotypes for compatibility and nodulation efficiency with various rhizobial strains

A van Vuuren

16:30 – 16:45

Concluding remarks and closing


Tuesday, 13 March

07:30 – 08:30 Secretariat open for registration

Session 3 : Crop quality & biotechnology

08:30 - 09:00 K3: Sowing the seed to develop skills in a changing environment

Lukeshni Chetty

09:00 - 09:15

O17: Statistical selection methods for baking quality in summer dryland wheat cultivars

M Booyse

09:15 - 09:30 O18: Breeding for Sweeter citrus Mandarin fruit

N Combrink

09:30 - 09:45

O19: Evaluation of nutritional values and their association in okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) genotypes in South Africa

AS Gerrano

09:45 - 10:00 O20: Nutritional diversity in leafy amaranth genotypes

H Katondo

10:00 - 10:30 Coffee/Tea break and poster viewing

10:30 - 10:45

O21: Size exclusion high performance liquid chromatography analysis using an ultra-high resolution column for improved separation of wheat proteins in South African bread wheat cultivars

K Phakela

10:45 - 11:00

O22: Relationship between iron, zinc and ach content, and loaf volume, flour protein and yield in white flour of commercial bread wheat cultivars

A van Biljon

11:00 - 11:15 O23: Green yield potential and quality of vegetable-type soybean

JB van der Merwe

11:15 - 11:30

O24: Yield related traits evaluation and genetic diversity exploration of multipopulation group (landraces) through use of microsatellite markers

T Bapela

11:30 – 11:45 O25: Origins of Rice: Revealed Through Whole Chloroplast Genome Analysis

SV Joshi

11:45 – 12:00

O26: Big Data on a Laptop: Exome and Transcriptome Assembly with Full Text Annotation Using Commodity Hardware

DE Lloyd

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch: Working lunch SAPBA Executive Committee Meeting

13:00 – 13:15

O27: Using quantitative genetic parameters to determine sample size for sucrose content in sugarcane breeding

T Mishasha


O28: Genomic selection modelling of wood properties in a Eucalyptus grandis x E. urophylla backcross population

S Naidoo

13:30-13:45 O29:Localizing of research technology to prepare for future demand

K Ericson

13:45-14:00 Coffee/Tea break and poster viewing


Session 4 : DowDuPont Plant Sciences Symposia

14:00-14:30 K4: An international perspective on plant breeding*

Geoff Graham

14:30 - 14:45

O30: Heritability and expression of Fe and Zn and their bioavailability in South African maize under abiotic stress conditions

S Akhtar

14:45 – 15:00

O31: Interaction between clone and harvest season sensory and phenolic profiles of Cyclopia Genistoides Vent (Honeybush)

G Mabizela

15:00 – 15:15 O32: Forever Green, the story of the apple Acyanic trait

K Mhelembe

15:15 – 15:30

O33: De novo assembly of maize transcriptome data for defence gene discovery

T Welgemoed

15:30 – 16:00 Poster viewing


Wednesday, 14 March

07:30 – 08:30 Secretariat open for registration

Session 5: Improving productivity

08:30 - 09:00 K5: Improving crop productivity in stressed environments*

Richard Trethowan

09:00 - 09:15

O34: Genotype x environment interactions of released sugarcane varieties in South


S Duma

09:15 - 09:30

O35: Productivity of five Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) varieties in a pigeonpeamaize strip intercropping in Limpopo Province.

KS Madimabe

09:30 - 09:45 O36: Genotype x environment interaction and yield stability in sunflower hybrids

S Ma'ali

09:45 - 10:00

O37: High-throughput method for ear phenotyping and yield estimation in maize using ear digital imaging

R Makanza

10:00 - 10:30 Coffee/Tea break and poster viewing

10:30 - 10:45

O38: Estimating breeding values for sugarcane yield of parental genotypes using best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP)

NW Mbuma

10:45 - 11:00 O39: The evaluation of Amaranth germplasm for leaf yield

W Jansen van Rensburg

11:00 - 11:15

O40: Breeding perennial sorghums - Potential and Challenges for Future Sustainable Crop Production

N Shargie

11:15 - 11:30 O41: Stability of edamame (Glycine max) in South African production conditions

A Smit

11:30 – 11:45

O42: Performance of elite cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) genotypes at Mankweng and Bela-Bela, Limpopo province

MM Sekgobela

11:45 – 12:00

O43: Comparing realised genetic gains among South African sugarcane breeding programmes using analysis of covariance and random coefficient models

M Zhou

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:00 Panel discussion: Plant breeders of the future

Session 6: General breeding

14:00 - 14:30

K6: Agriculture in northwestern Argentina and achievements of the EEAOC

Soybean Breeding Project

Daniel Ploper

14:30 - 14:45

O44: The combining of genetic, molecular, sensory, phenolic and horticultural information contributed to an integrated breeding programme for honeybush

(Cyclopia spp.)

C Bester

14:45 – 15:00

O45: Long term benefits from large datasets and modern technologies in the breeding of high quality citrus rootstocks

Z Bijzet

15:00 – 15:15

O46: Breeding with Eucalyptus badjensis – looking back to enable moving forward

M Cele

15:15 - 15:30 O47: Genetic variation and heritability of traits among Corchorus species

P Dube

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee/Tea break and poster viewing

16:00 – 16:15 O48: What crops for 4p1000?

I Mathew

16:15 – 16:30

O49: Genetic diversity analysis of South African soybean genotypes using agronomic and nutritional quality traits

A Mofokeng

16:30 – 16:45

O50: Characterization of wheat (Triticum aesativum L.) grown in Lesotho using morphological markers

ME Morojele

16:45 - 17:00 Concluding remarks and closing

Upcoming Conference

Final Announcement

Final Announcement

  February 27, 2018 | Read More