Institute for Plant Biotechnology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Recent Publications

  • ​Shalileh F, Gheibzadeh MS, Lloyd JR, Fietz S, Zahiri HS, Emaheh RZ. 2023. Evolutionary analysis and quality assessment of z-carbonic anhydrase sequences from environmental microbiome. Journal of Basic Microbiology 63: 1412-1425. 
  • Keret R, Schliephack PM, Stangler DF, Seifert T, Kahle HP, Drew DM, Hills PN. 2023. An open-source machine-learning approach for obtaining high-quality quantitative wood anatomy data from E. grandis and P. radiata xylem. Plant Science 340: 1-11. 
  • Gao F, Zhang L, Lloyd JR, Zhou W, Chen Y. 2023.  Reversible protein phosphorylation, a central signaling hub to regulate carbohydrate metabolic networks. Crop Journal 11: 1279-1286. 
  • Javal M, Terblanche JS, Benoit L, Conlong DE, Lloyd JR, Smit C, Chauis M. 2023.  Does host plant drive variation in microbial gut communities in a recently shifter pest? Microbial Ecology 86: 636-646. 
  • Vogel, D, PN Hills and JP Moore.  2023.  Strigolactones GR-24 and Nijmegen applications result in reduced susceptibility of tobacco and grapevine plantlets to Botrytis cinerea infection.  Plants 12: 3202
  • Ochatt SJ, Bhattacharya A, Prestwich BMD, Hano C, Hensel G, Marconi PL, Van der Vyver C. 2023. The role of biotechnological tools for mitigating abiotic stress in a changing climate – preface. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 154: 213-217.
  • Masoabi M., Burger F., Botha A-M., Vlok M., Snyman S. and van der Vyver C. (2023). Overexpression of Small Ubiquitin-Like Modifier proteases enhance drought tolerance in sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrid). Plant Biology; doi:10.1111/plb.13585. 
  • ​​Masoabi M., Pols S., Hills P., Snyman S. and van der Vyver C. (2023). Response of sugarcane plants with modified cytokinin homeostasis under water deficit conditions. Plant Stress, 10, 100240;
  • Keret R, Hills P, Drew D. 2023. The evolution of in vitro tracheary element systems from annual to perennial plant species.  Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture, Https://​
  • Lloyd JR, Wilhelm R, Sharma MK, Kossmann J, Zhang P.  2023.  Editorial: Insights in plant biotechnology: 2021. Frontiers in Plant Science, doi: 10.3389/fpls.2023.1147930
  • Masoabi M., Snyman S. and Van der Vyver C. 2023. Characterization of an ethyl methanesulfonate-derived drought tolerant sugarcane mutant line. Annals of Applied Biology, 1-18; DOI: 101111/aab.12823. 


  • Javal M, Terblanche JS, Benoit L, Conlong DE, Lloyd JR, Smit C, Chapuis M-P.  2022. Does host plant drive variation in microbial gut communities in recently shifted pest? Microbial Ecology,​
  • R Keret, M Nakhooda, NB Jones and P Hills. 2022. Optimisation of micropropagation protocols for temperate eucalypt hybrids in South Africa, with a focus on auxin transport proteins. Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science 83 (4): 254-263
  • H Loubser, P Hills, I Wilson and J Janse van Rensburg. 2022. Mitigate salt stress and promote plant growth with C4L technology. Agri About 106

  • Gabriel CA, Fernhout J-J, Fichtner F, Feil R, Lunn JE, Kossmann J, Lloyd JR and Van der Vyver C. Genetic manipulation of trehalose 6-phosphate synthase results in changes in the soluble sugar profile in transgenic sugarcane stems. Plant Direct 5, e358; DOI: 10.1002/pld3.358
  • CR van Beek, T Guzha, N Kopana, CS van der Westhuizen, SK Panda and C van der Vyver. 2021. The SlNAC2 transcription factor from tomato confers tolerance to drought stress in transgenic tobacco plants. Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 27(5):907-921; DOI: 10.1007/s12298-021-00996-2.​
  • I Jacobs-Hoffmann and PN Hills. 2021. Effects of the commercial biostimulant BC204 on the rhizosphere microbial community of Solanum lycopersicum L.  South African Journal of Botany (In Press).
  • JR Lloyd and J Kossmann. 2021. Improving crops for a changing world. Frontiers in Plant Science 12: 728328;​


  • Xonti A., Hunter E., Kulu N., Maboeei P., Stander M., Koss​mann J., Peters S. and Loedolff B. (2020). Diversification of health-promoting phytochemicals in radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) and kale (Brassica oleracea) micro-greens using high light bio-fortification. Functional Foods in Health and Disease 10(2): 65-81​
  • Lloyd JR.  2020.  The A to B of starch granule formation in wheat endosperm.  Journal of Experimental Botany 71;
  • Mbambalala N., Panda SK. and van der Vyver C. 2020. Overexpression of AtBBX29 improves drought tolerance by maintaining photosynthesis and enhancing the antioxidant and osmolyte capacity of sugarcane plants. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter; DOI: 10.1007/s11105-020-01261-8
  • Hunter EW., Stander MA., Kossmann JM., Chakraborty S., Prince S. and Peters SW. 2020. Towards the identification of a phytocannabinoid-like compound in the flowers of a South African medicinal plant (Leonotis leonurus).  BMC Research Notes 13(522): 1-6. 
  • Loubser, J. and Hills P. 2020.  The application of a commercially available citrus-based extract mitigates moderate NaCl-stress in Arabidopsis thaliana plants.  Plants 9:10101​


  • ​Mdodana NT., Jewell JF., Phiri EE., Smith ML., Oberlander K., Mahmoodi S., Kossmann J. and Lloyd JR.  (2019). Mutations in glucan, water dikinase affect starch degradation and gametophore development in the moss Physcomitrella patens. Scientific Reports 9 (15114);
  • Balet S., Gous P., Fox G., Lloyd J. and Manley M. (2019). Characterisation of starch quality from barley varieties grown in South Africa.  International Journal of Food Science and Technology;
  • Loedolff B., van der Vyver C. (2019). Water Stress and Redox Regulation with Emphasis on Future Biotechnological Prospects. In: Panda S., Yamamoto Y. (eds) Redox Homeostasis in Plants. Signalling and Communication in Plants. Springer, Cham.
  • P Borgohain, B Saha, R Agrahari, B Chowardhara, S Sahoo, C van der Vyver and SK Panda. 2019. SlNAC2 overexpression in Arabidopsis results in enhanced abiotic stress tolerance with alteration in glutathione metabolism. Protoplasma;
  • ML le Roux, KJ Kunert, C van der Vyver, CA Cullis and A-M Botha Oberholster. 2019. Expression of a small ubiquitin-like modifier protease increases drought-induced water stress tolerance in wheat (Triticum aestivum l.). Frontiers in Plant Science 10: 266; doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00266.
  • GG Stevens, Perez-Fernandez MA, Morcillo RJL, Kleinert A, Hills P, Brand DJ, Steenkamp ET and AJ Valentine. 2019. Roots and nodules response differently to P      starvation in the Mediterranean-type legume Virgilia divaricate. Frontiers in Plant Science 10:73. Doi:10.3389/fpls.2019.00073
  • Lloyd JR and Kossmann J.  2019.  Starch Trek: The search for yield.  Frontiers in Plant Science 9:1930. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01930


  • W Wang, CE Hostettler, FF Damberger, J Kossmann, JR Lloyd and SC Zeeman. 2018. Modification of cassava root starch phosphorylation enhances starch functional properties.  Frontiers of Plant Science 9:1562. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01562​
  • RJ Ndimba, J Kruger, L Mehlo, A Barnabas, J Kossmann and BK Ndimba.  2018.  A comparative study of selected physical and biochemical traits of wild-type and transgenic sorghum to reveal differences relevant to grain quality.  Frontiers in Plant Science 8: 952.  doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00952​​
  • B Loedolff and S Peters.  2018. Functional foods: Miniature plants that pack a big punch!  Frontiers for Young Minds,
  • C van Beek, JJ Fernhout, J Kossmann, JR Lloyd and C van der Vyver.  2018. Use of a mutated protoporphyrinogen oxidase gene as an effective in vitro selectable marker system that also conveys in planta herbicide resistance in sugarcane. Tropical Plant Biology, 1-9
  • Samodien E., Jewell J., Loedolff B., Oberlander K., George GM., Zeeman SC., Damberger FF., van der Vyver C., Kossmann J. and Lloyd JR.  2018.  Repression of Sex4 and Like Sex Four2 orthologs in potato increases tuber starch bound phosphate with concomitant alterations in starch physical properties. Frontiers in Plant Science 9:1044. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01044. 
  • Lopez-Obando M, de Villiers R, Hoffmann B, Ma L, de Saint Germain A, Kossmann J, Coudert Y, Harrison CJ, Rameoau C, Hills P and Bonhomme S.  2018. Physcomitrella patens MAX2 characterization suggests and ancient role for this F-box protein in photomorhpgenesis rather than strigolactone signalling.  New Phytologist, doi:10.1111/nph.15214
  • Pholo M, Coetzee B, Maree HJ, Young PR, Lloyd JR, Kossmann J and Hills PN.  2018.  Cell division and turgor mediate enhanced plant growth in Arabidopsis plants treated with the bacterial signalling molecule lumichrome.  Planta   ​


  • Van der Vyver C. and Peters S. 2017. How do plants deal with dry days?  2017. Frontiers Young Minds, 5:58. doi: 10.3389/frym.2017.00058.​
  • Ndimba RJ, Kruger J, Mehlo L, Barnabas A, Kossmann J and Ndimiba BK. A comparative study of selected physical and biochemical traits of wild-type and transgenic sorghum to reveal differences relevant to grain quality.  Frontiers in Plant Science, 2017, DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00952​
  • Masoabi M, Lloyd J, Kossmann J and van der Vyver C.  Ethyl methanesulfonate mutagenesis and in vitro polyethylene glycol selection for drought tolerance in sugarcane (Saccharum sp.).  SugarTech, 2017, DOI: 10.1007/s12355-017-0524-8 
  • Ndimba RJ, Kruger J, Mehlo L, Barnabas A, Kossmann J and Ndimiba BK. A comparative study of selected physical and biochemical traits of wild-type and transgenic sorghum to reveal differences relevant to grain quality.  Frontiers in Plant Science, 2017, DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00952
  • Strydom L, Jewell J, Meier MA and Lloyd J.  Analysis of genes involved in glycogen degradation in Escherichia coli.  FEMS Microbiology Letters, 2017, DOI: 10.1093/femsle/fnx016
  • Ndimba R, Cloete K, Mehlo L, Kossmann J, Mtshali CB, Pineda-Vargas C.  Using ICP and micro-PIXE to investigate possible differences in the mineral composition of genetically modified versus wild-type sorghum grain. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 2017, DOI10.1016/j.nimb.2017.03.004


  • Saner P, Philipson CD, Peters S, Keller F, Bigler L, Turnbull LA and Hector LA.  Growth rates and relative change in non-structural carbohydrates of dipterocarp seedlings in response to light acclimation.  Plant Ecology and Diversity, 2016, DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2016.1227385
  • Lloyd JR and Kotting O.  Starch biosynthesis and degradation in plants.  In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester. DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020124.pub2
  • Le Roux ML, Botha A-M and van der Vyver C. Somatic embryogenesis and cryopreservation of South African bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes. South African Journal of Botany, 2016, 106: 78-88
  • Thuynsma R, Kleinert A, Kossmann J, Valentine AJ and Hills PN. The effects of limiting phosphate on photosynthesis and growth of Lotus japonicas. South African Journal of Botany, 2016, 104: 244-248.
  • Rose L, Mouton M, Beukes I, Flett BC, van der Vyver C and Viljoen A. Multi-environment evaluation of maize inbred lines for resistance to Fusarium ear rot and fumonisins. Plant Disease, 2016,


  • Fly R, Lloyd JR, Krueger S, Fernie A, van der Merwe MJ. 2015. Improvements to define mitochondrial metabolomics using non-aqueous fractionation . In: Springer Protocols 1305; Plant Mitochondria: Methods and Protocols. Humana Press. Eds. Whelan, J & Murcha MW. pp197-210.  DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-2639-8_15
  • Hector S, Willard K, Bauer R, Mulako I, Slabbert E, Kossmann J, George GM. Diverse exopolysaccharide producing bacteria isolated from milled sugarcane: Implications for cane spoilage and sucrose yield. PLOS ONE, 2015, 10 (12):E0145487. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0145487
  • Egert A, Eicher B, Keller F, Peters S.  Evidence for water deficit-induced mass increases of raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) in the leaves of three Craterostigma resurrection plant species.  Frontiers in Physiology, 2015, 6: 206. DOI:10.3389/fphys.2015.00206
  • George GM, Ruckle ME, Lloyd JR. 2015. Virus-induced gene silencing as a scalable tool to study drought tolerance. In: Springer Protocols 1287; Plant Gene Silencing: Methods and Protocols. Humana Press. Eds. Mysore, KS & Muthappa, S. pp243-253. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-2453-0_18
  • Lloyd JR, Kossmann J: Transitory and storage starch metabolism: two sides of the same coin? Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 2015, 32: 143-148. DOI:10.1016/j.copbio.2014.11.026 


  • Grobbelaar MC, Makunga NP, Stander MA, Kossmann J, Hills PN: Effect of strigolactones and auxins on growth and metabolite content of Sutherlandia frutescens (L.) R. Br. microplants in vitro. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture, 2014, 117(3): 401-409
  • Kleinert A, Venter M, Kossmann J, Valentine A: The reallocation of carbon in P deficient lupins affects biological nitrogen fixation. Journal of Plant Physiology, 2014, 171(17): 1619-1624. DOI:10.1016/j.jplph.2014.07.0717
  • Christ B, Egert A, Sussenbacher I, Krautler B, Bartels D, Peters S, Hortensteiner S: Water deficit induces chlorophyll degradation via the 'PAO/phyllobilin' pathway in leaves of homoio- (Craterostigma pumilum) and poikilochlorophyllous (Xerophyta viscosa) resurrection plants. Plant, Cell and Environment, 2014, 37(11): 2521-2531


  • Egert A, Keller F, Peters S: Abiotic stress-induced accumulation of raffinose in Arabidopsis leaves is mediated by a single raffinose synthase (RS5, At5g40390). BMC Plant Biology, 2013, 13: 2118
  • Sonnewald U, Kossmann J: Starches – from current models to genetic engineering. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 2013, 11(2): 223-232
  • Van der Vyver C, Conradie T, Kossmann J, Lloyd J: In vitro selection of transgenic sugarcane callus utilizing a plant gene encoding a mutant form of acetolactate synthase.  In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology – Plant, 2013, 49 (2): 198-206


  • Bauer R, Hiten F, Crouch AM, Kossmann J, Burger BV: Acrolein dimer as a marker for direct detection of acrolein in wine. South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 2012, 33(1): 72-79
  • Egert A, Peters S, Guyot C, Stieger B, Keller F: An Arabidopsis T-DNA Insertion Mutant for galactokinase (AtGALK, At3g06580) hyperaccumulates free galactose and is insensitive to exogenous galactose. Plant Cell Physiology, 2012, 53(5): 921–929
  • Albrecht CF, Stander MA, Grobbelaar MC, Colling J, Kossmann J, Hills PN, Makunga NP: LC–MS-based metabolomics assists with quality assessment and traceability of wild and cultivated plants of Sutherlandia frutescens (Fabaceae). South African Journal of Botany, 2012, 82: 33-45
  • Cronje C, George GM, Fernie AR, Bekker J, Kossmann J, Bauer R: Manipulation of L-ascorbic acid biosynthesis pathways in Solanum lycopersicum: elevated GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase activity enhances L-ascorbate levels in red fruit. Planta, 2012, 235(3): 553-564
  • Bauer R, Basson CE, Bekker J, Eduardo I, Rohwer JM, Uys L, van Wyk JH, Kossmann J:  Reuteran and levan as carbohydrate sinks in transgenic sugarcane.  Planta, 2012 236: 1803-1815 
  • Pillay P, Kibido T, du Plessis M, van der Vyver C, Beyene G, Vorster BJ, Kunert K, Schluter U: Use of transgenic Oryzacystatin-I expressing plants enhances recombinant protein production.  Applied Biochem and Biotech, 2012, 168 (6): 1608-1620
  • George GM, Bauer R, Blennow A, Kossmann J, Lloyd JR: Virus induced multiple gene silencing to study redundant metabolic pathways in plants: Silencing the starch degradation pathway in Nicotiana benthamiana. Biotechnology Journal, 2012, 7(7): 884-890
  • Figlan S, Kossmann J, Makunga N: Seed germination behaviour, micropropagation and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Salvia runcinata (L.f.): implications for conservation and cultivation. South African Journal of Botany, 2012, 79:18
  • Gouws LM, Botes E, Wiese AJ, Trenkamp S, Torres-Jerez I, Tang Y, Hills PN, Usadel B, Lloyd JR, Fernie AR, Kossmann J, van der Merwe MJ: The plant growth promoting substance, lumichrome, mimics starch and ethane-associated symbiotic responses in Lotus and tomato roots. Frontiers of Plant Science, 2012, 3:120 


  • Burger BV, Viviers MZ, le Roux NJ, Morris J, Bekker JPI, le Roux M: Olfactory cue mediated neonatal recognition in sheep, Ovis aries. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 2011, 10:1150-1163
  • Cronje C, George GM, Fernie AR, Bekker J, Kossmann J, Bauer R: Manipulation of L-ascorbic acid biosynthesis pathways in Solanum lycopersicum: elevated GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase activity enhances L-ascorbate levels in red fruit. Planta, 2011, 235: 553-564
  • George GM, van der Merwe M, Nunes-Nesi A, Bauer R, Fernie AR, Kossmann J, Lloyd JR: Virus-induced gene silencing of plastidial soluble inorganic pyrophosphatase impairs essential leaf anabolic pathways and reduces drought stress tolerance in Nicotiana benthamiana. Plant Physiology, 2011, 154: 55-66
  • van der Vyver C, Vorster BJ, Kunert K, Cullis CA: Analysis of radiation-induced genome alterations in Vigna unguiculata. Research and Reports in Biology, 2011, 2: 89-99