The Spring Graduation Ceremony of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science took place on Thursday 4 September. As always, FABI's impact in the faculty was visible with seven PhD and 13 MSc students from the institute receiving their well-earned degrees. We congratulate these FABIans with their achievements and celebrate with them! We also wish those well who are leaving the University to pursue careers elsewhere and welcome those who are staying with us for another degree. Herewith the list of graduandi with their thesis titles:


Dr Bertha-Lucia de Castro - Diseases of coffee with particular references to those affecting stems and roots in Colombia

Dr Nanette Christie - Transcriptional regulation underlying the quantitative genetic response of maize to grey leaf spot disease

Dr Steven Hussey - Functional genomics of NAC transcription factor SND2 regulating secondary cell wall biosynthesis in Arabidopsis and Eucalyptus

Dr Matome Makgopa - Production and characterization of trangenic Arabidopsis and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) plants overexpressing oryzacystatin-1

Dr Celia Martins - Characterizing four cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) Mozambican landraces deposited in a seed bank for drought tolerance

Dr Michael Mbenoun - Diversity, ecology and taxonomy of tree infecting Ceratocystis species in Africa

Dr Divine Shyntum - Characterising the Type VI secretion system in Pantoea ananatis


(* with distinction)

*Marike du Plessis - Phylo- and comparative genomics of the Pantoea core genome

*Arista Fourie - Distinguishing between cryptic species in the Ceratocystis fimbriata sensu lato species complex

Tracy Godlonton - Mating locus structure and a gene duplication in Ceratocystis species

*Miekie Haasbroek - Characterization of Exserohilum turcicum isolates within South African maize production areas

Mkhululi Maphosa - Identification of unique genes in the genome of Fusarium circinatum and the development of a robust diagnostic technique using these sequences

Dora Ngoepe - Genotyping-by-sequencing of sweet-stem and grain sorghum for genetic mapping

*Desre Pinard - Genome-wide analysis of carbohydrate active enzyme diversity and expression in Eucalyptus grandis

*Anandi Reitmann - ldentification of pathogenicity genes in Phytophthora cinnamomi

Rynhard Smit - Evaluation of Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA and Simple Sequence Repeat markers in Moringa oleifera (Iam.) to establish population diversity

Ariska van der Nest - Comparative study of Epicoccum sorghinum in southern Africa

Ida van Jaarsveld - Basal prometer landscape in Eucalyptus grandis: Annotation of distal transcription start sites and core prometer usage

*Febe Wilken - Establishment of a compatible pathosystem between Eucalyptus nitens and Phytophthora cinnamomi to determine host transcriptional responses

*Amy Wooding - Sex determination and symbiont transmission in the Sirex-Amylostereum mutualism

More photos of the graduation in the gallery.