University of Pretoria researcher discusses avocado genome projects

The avocado session at this year’s International Conference on the Status of Plant and Animal Genome Research in San Diego included a presentation by University of Pretoria researchers on their work in South Africa.

Noelani van den Berg gave the presentation at the January 13 avocado session of the January 12-16 conference. Her talk “Fruit Tree Biotechnology Programme: Avocado Research Project” also covered the work of Waheed Mahomed, Bianca Farrow, and Juanita Engelbrecht.

Van den Berg noted that the avocado genome hasn’t been researched to the extent of other fruit. The genome has been sequenced, but that information has not yet been publicly disseminated.

 “We would like to tap into that resource soon,” van den Berg said.

The work at the University of Pretoria includes pathogen defense and population dynamics.

van den Berg and her collaborators have been studying avocado genetics for approximately five years.

“We’re a very young group,” she said.  “But we’ve made some nice progress.”

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