Mr Bernard Smit

MSc student


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I am interested in multidisciplinary methods to tackle biology challenges and I find synthetic biology fascinating. My project is within the Forest Molecular Genetics Programme (FMG) and I am addressing a hurdle in Eucalyptus biotechnology; to genetically transform eucalypts. A potential method to overcome this challenge is to transform with selected developmental genes and silence these genes at a later stage during regeneration. Along with the specified genes, a range of other conditions, such as in vitro and in planta transformation, will also be tested. We aim to develop a novel genetic transformation protocol which will significantly aid in research and industry output. This project includes the opportunity to collaborate with Oregon State University and the forestry industry.



Smit, B.A., Van Zyl, E., Joubert, J.J., Meyer, W., Prévéral, S., Lefèvre, C.T. and Venter, S.N. (2018) (Editor`s Choice) Magnetotactic bacteria used to generate electricity based on Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction. Let Appl Microbio (66) 5, 362-367.

Gwizdala, M., Smit, B.A. and Kruger, T., (in preparation) Photosynthetic activity in Welwitschia mirabilis of the Namib desert.