The joint congress of the South African Society for Bioinformatics (SASBi) and the South African Genetics Society (SAGS) was held at the Nelson Mandela school of Medicine, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal 20-23rd September 2016. The biennial SASBi and SAGS congresses are the premier national scientific meetings uniting scientists working in the overlapping disciplines of bioinformatics and genetics in South Africa. The congress theme was “Bridging the Gap” with an emphasis on decoding genetics for integration and application, to understand the function and evolution of biological systems from a single gene to a whole genome level.

The congress involved researchers from institutions across the country and provided an ideal platform for postgraduate students to present their research. Several Fabians presented talks and posters at the congress (Ms Danielle Roodt, Dr Nanette Christie, Ms Andrea Wilson, Ms Lorraine Mhoswa, Ms Liezel Potgieter, Mr Matt Laubscher, Mr Yves du Toit, Mr Stefan Engelbrecht, Ms Alisa Postma-Smit, Ms Arista Fourie, Ms Ariska van der Nest, Ms Bianca Rodrigues Jardim, Mr Buyani Ndlovu, Mr Robert Backer, Ms Stephanie van Wyk, Ms Dora Mkabili, Mr Riaan Swanepoel and Prof. Lucy Moleleki) and a plenary lecture was delivered by Prof. Zander Myburg. Dr Sanushka Naidoo, Dr Albé van der Merwe and Dr Irene Barnes were elected to the executive of the SAGS council with Dr. Naidoo being elected as president of the society, Dr Barnes as secretary and Dr van der Merwe as website manager. Dr. Steven Hussey was also elected as an additional member. The next joint congress will take place in 2018 in Bloemfontein and will be hosted by the University of the Free State.

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McTaggart AR, Beasley DR, Wingfield MJ, Wood AR, Pretorius ZA, Drenth A, Shivas RG, Roux J. (2017) A dynamic, web-based resource to identify rust fungi (Pucciniales) in southern Africa. MycoKeys 26:77-83. 10.3897/mycokeys.26.14602
De Maayer P, Aliyu H, Vikram S, Blom J, Duffy B, Cowan DA, Smits THM, Venter SN, Coutinho TA. (2017) Phylogenomic, pan-genomic, pathogenomic and evolutionary genomic insights into the agronomically relevant enterobacteria Pantoea ananatis and Pantoea stewartii. Frontiers in Microbiology 8(1755) 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01755
Jami F, Wingfield MJ, Gryzenhout M, Slippers B. (2017) Diversity of tree-infecting Botryosphaeriales on native and non-native trees in South Africa and Namibia. Australasian Plant Pathology 10.1007/s13313-017-0516-x
Stewart JE, Ross-Davis AL, Graҫa RN, Alfenas AC, Peever TL, Hanna JW, Uchida JY, Hauff RD, Kadooka CY, Kim MS, Cannon PG, Namba S, Simeto S, Pérez CA, Rayamajhi MB, Lodge DJ, Arguedas M, Medel-Ortiz R, López-Ramirez MA, Tennant P, Glen M, Machado PS, McTaggart AR, Carnegie AJ, Klopfenstein NB, Cleary M. (2017) Genetic diversity of the myrtle rust pathogen (Austropuccinia psidii) in the Americas and Hawaii: Global implications for invasive threat assessments. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12378
Liebhold AM, Brockerhoff EG, Kalisz S, Nuñez MA, Wardle DA, Wingfield MJ. (2017) Biological invasions in forest ecosystems. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-017-1458-5