Ms Chanel Thomas



MSc student

Department

Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
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Primary Supervisor
Markus Wilken

Co Supervisor
Cobus Visagie

In 2021 I completed my BScHons degree in Genetics under the supervision of Dr Markus Wilken. My honours research looked into the mating strategies of species in the genus Sclerotinia, with a focus on the mating-type (MAT) locus that underpins sexual compatibility.

Using a combination of bioinformatics and molecular techniques, I was able to annotate the MAT locus of several Sclerotinia species and screen isolates for MAT genes and structural variations in the MAT locus. This allowed me to infer the sexual strategies of previously unstudied species.


At present, I am part of the Grain Research Program at FABI and am completing my MSc in Genetics. My masters research is somewhat an extension of my honours work on Sclerotinia, but with a specific focus on the taxonomy of the genus and the genetic diversity in South African populations of the fungal pathogen, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.