CenGen helps with some tough DNA extractions

Cover picture: The regionally endangered Cape dwarf-eelgrass (Zostera capensis) in Knysna. Credit: Katie Watson

Knowledge transfer has always been a vital part of CenGen’s work ethos. Recently, Ms Katie Watson, PhD Candidate at Stellenbosch University’s Botany and Zoology Department, reached out to us for assistance in extracting High Molecular Weight DNA from plant tissue. As we embark on generating the whole genome sequence of Spekboom, a vital part of the project is knowledge transfer to other researchers in South Africa wanting to embark on plant genome sequencing.

Katie, alongside researchers from the Von der Heyden laboratory in collaboration with the Stellenbosch University’s Central Analytical Facility (CAF) Sequencing Unit, are aiming to understand how to restore and protect Cape dwarf-eelgrass through sequencing the genome. Ultimately, the project aims to contribute towards understanding how this species will respond or adapt to environmental stressors, including the ever-growing threat of climatic ocean warming.

CenGen is happy to start the Spekboom project knowledge sharing journey with Stellenbosch University. Also read more about it here:


Ms Shannon Derman (left) helps Katie with extracting DNA from eelgrass in the CenGen laboratory.