Ms Mary Ranketse
I am interested in the use of genomics and molecular breeding technologies as sustainable methods for crop production, improvement and conservation; especially given the changing climate landscape. My resilient, solution-orientated nature and passion for science exploration, molecular biology and genomics evolved during my post-graduate studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. I am registered for a PhD degree focusing on macadamia genomics at the University of Pretoria, and affiliated with the Agricultural Research Council Professional Development Programme. I am privileged to be doing my research with the dynamic Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) Research programme which has extensive expertise and resources related to forestry and trees, and the highly experienced Macadamia Protection Programme (MPP) which ensure sustainable methods for management of macadamia resources.
South Africa is a major role player in the global macadamia industry, being one of the two largest suppliers along with Australia. Macadamia nuts are known worldwide as a high quality, product used in the food and cosmetic industries. With such demand for high-quality macadamia nuts and oil, it is important to look to genomics to maintain or even improve the already high standards set by the Hawaiian industry during commercial selections more than 100 years ago. Limited macadamia selections have been performed in South Africa, with no national breeding programmes and most commercial accessions grown in in the country are imported from Hawaii and Australia. Furthermore the South African macadamia industry does not have genetic knowledge of macadamia in the country resulting in knowledge gaps in the genomics space.
My study aims to understand the population genetics of macadamia grown in South Africa using microsatellite markers and whole genome sequencing. Furthermore, we will be performing De novo assembly of Macadamia tetraphylla and Beaumont (HAES 695) genomes. This study will add new knowledge to the growing body of genomic resources for macadamia. The outcomes of this research has potential applications in genetic fingerprinting, purity testing and germplasm protection.
Ranketse, M., Hefer, C., Pierneef, R., Fourie, G., Myburg, A.A., 2020. Macadamia genetic resource management – A South African perspective. Plant Biology 2020 Worldwide Summit, 27-31 July 2020, Online meeting (Poster)
Ranketse, M., Hefer, C., Pierneef, R., Fourie, G., Myburg, A.A., 2020. Whole-genome analysis of macadamia using innovative sequencing technologies for genetic resource management and breeding. Southern African Plant Breeding Symposium, 8-10 March 2020, Pretoria, South Africa (Flash Talk)
Ranketse, M., Hefer, C., Pierneef, R., Fourie, G., Myburg, A.A., 2018. Genetic characterization and population dynamics of South African macadamia cultivars using multiplex microsatellite PCR panels. South African Society for Bioinformatics and the South African Genetics Society 2018 Joint Conference, 16-18 October 2018, Free State, South Africa (Oral)
Ranketse, M., Madoroba, E. Muchadeyi, F.C. and Dzomba, E.F. 2017. Whole Genome Sequence Analysis Reveals Antimicrobial Resistance Genes, Plasmids and Potentially Unique Sequence Types of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolates causing Colibacillosis in Neonatal and Weaning Piglets of South Africa. Plant and Animal Genome XXV 2017, 14-18 January 2017, San Diego, California, United Stated of America. Work was presented at the Swine workshop (Oral)
Ranketse, M., Ledwaba, L., Malibe, L., Rees, J., Bellstedt, D.U., Baison, J. and Matsaunyane, L. B. T. Comparative differential gene expression analysis in response to PVY infection in resistant and susceptible potato cultivars. Potato South Africa Research Symposium, 2016, 26– 27 July 2016, Limpopo, South Africa (Flash Talk and Poster)
Ranketse, M., Hefer, C., Baison, J. and Mastaunyane, L.B.T. Comparative differential gene expression analysis in response to PVY infection in resistant and susceptible potato cultivars. Potato South Africa Research Symposium, 2015, 21– 22 July 2015, Limpopo, South Africa (Flash Talk and Poster)
Ranketse, M., Madoroba, E. Muchadeyi, F.C. and Dzomba, E.F. 2015. Analysis of antibiotic resistant genes, plasmid profiles and multilocus sequence typing of Escherichia coli isolates causing colibacillosis in South African piglets. University of KwaZulu-Natal, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, 2015 Postgraduate Research Day, 22 September 2015, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa (Oral)
Ranketse, M. and Dzomba, E.F. 2012. Characterization of the NRAMP1 gene polymorphisms and their variation in pig breeds of South Africa. South African Genetics and Bioinformatics Society Conference, 10-12 September 2012, Cape Town, South Africa (Poster)
On 3 September, Dr Gerda Fourie, research leader of the Macadamia Protection Programme (MPP) and Prof. Zander Myburg, research leader of the Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) Programme participated in a live webinar.
Twenty two members of the FMG research group in FABI attended this year's virtual-hosted ASPB Plant Biology Worldwide Summit 2020.
Dr Wayne Hancock of Southern Cross University, Australia visited Dr Gerda Fourie, research leader of the Macadamia Protection Programme in FABI, from 25 to 28 March.