The Southern African Plant Breeders Association (SAPBA) held its 12th Symposium at Umhlanga last week with the theme “Big Data and Breeding Technologies”.  Included in the programme was the 2018 DowDuPontTM Plant Sciences Symposium, part of a global series.  Tanya Welgemoed an MSc student from the Molecular Plant-Pathogens Interactions (MPPI) research group in FABI presented on her research “denovo transcriptome assembly for maize gene discovery”, one of four selected student presentations. DowDuPont introduced Corteva AgriscienceTM, their new agriculture division covering DuPont Pioneer (including local entities Pannar Seed (Pty) Ltd and Pioneer), DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences.  Presentations were also made at the SAPBA symposium by Prof Dave Berger, MPPI, and Prof Mathews Dida, a visiting collaborator from Maseno University, Kenya.  A novel feature of the symposium was a panel discussion on “Plant Breeders of the Future” directed at students, which generated some interesting insights and passionate debate.

Photo caption: DowDuPont Plant Sciences Symposium student presenters with keynote speaker Dr Geoff Graham, Vice-President, Global Plant Breeding, DowDuPontTM.