Institute for Plant Biotechnology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Theses & Dissertations


LOUW NM. Assessment of mutant N19 sugarcane lines for drought tolerance. MSc, March 2024.

GOUWS N. Investigating transgenic potato plants lacking starch branching enzyme I and/or glucan, water dikinase 1. MSc, March 2024.

WARREN K. Is AtGSTF2 involved in lumichrome perception and transport? MSc, March 2024.

KERET R. The physiological and genetic underpinnings that influence the xylem properties of Eucalyptus grandis, when subjected to different levels of water availability. PhD, March 2024.​


HENRIQUES M. Does lumichrome-enhanced growth reduce disease resistance in plants? MSc, 2023

SCHWEGLER DA. Development of genome editing of potato to repress cold-induced sweetgening. MSc, 2023.

KULU NN. Analysis of starch metabolism in South Afri can pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) varieties. MSc, 2023. 

XONTI A. Identification and characterisation of a drought-responsive galactinol synthase in wild rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia). MSc, 2023.

FULTON K. Engineering drought tolerance in sugarcane through modification of genes involved in photosynthetic activity. MSc 2023.

MASOABI M. Genetic engineering strategies to enhance drought tolerance in sugarcane. PhD, 2023.​​

DE STADLER J. Analysis of phosphoglucomutase isoforms form Physcomitrium patens, MSc 2023. ​

LE ROUX J. Nuclear Factor-YB transcription factors in sugarcane and their functional role in drought tolerance, MSc, 2023.  

DE VRIES A. Enhancement of free L-tryptophan levels in sugarcane by elimination of ASA1 feedback loop and random mutagenesis, MSc, 2023.


ADEGBAJU MS. Analysis of interactions between glucan, water dikinase and either isoamylase or starch branching enzymes in determination of starch structure, PhD 2022.


MDODANA Z.  Analysis of aspects of starch metabolism in Physcomitrella patens, PhD 2021.

JACOBS D.  Analysis of sugar accumulation under cold stress in Physcomitrella patens, MSc 2021.

LOURENS D. Determining the function of MtAMA1, an AGP suspected to play a role in the symbiosis between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and Medicago truncatula, MSc 2021.

EHRENREICH C. Site directed-mutagenesis studies on a novel dual domain β galactosidase/ β-glucosidase open reading frame identified from dairy runoff, MSc 2021.

RUST CM.  The volatile tale of Arabidopsis thaliana: Enhancing plant growth and salinity stress tolerance by overexpressing α-acetolactate decarboxylase to produce acetoin in planta, MSc 2021.

GABRIEL C. Overexpress trehalose-6-phosphate synthase genes, isolated from sugarcane, in potato to determine its activity and its role in internal carbohydrate homeostasis, MSc 2021. 

BARKER A. The over-expression of a late embryogenesis abundant protein in Saccharum species hybrid to improve osmotic stress tolerance under water-deficit, MSc, 2021.  ​

MADZIVIRE PM.  Conservation of the endangered geophyte Haemanthus pumilio, MSc ,2021.


HUNTER EW. Screening for bioactive phytocannabinoid-like secondary metabolites in the flowers of two endemic South African “wilde dagga" (Leonotis leonurus) varieties, MSc 2020.

ENSLIN NG. Identification of a cellulolytic active fungal strain, isolated from a cigarette waste microenvironment, showing preference for growth on cellulose acetate, MSc 2020.  

WIESE A. Characterization of the Sucrose Synthase and class II Trehalose 6-Phosphate Synthase gene families in the moss Physcomitrella patens. PhD, 2020.

LOUBSER J. Analysis of the molecular and physiological effects following treatment with BC204 in Arabidopsis thaliana and Solanum lycopersicum. PhD, 2020.

MBAMBALALA N. Analysis of the role of transcription factors in enhancing drought tolerance in sugarcane (Saccharum spp.). MSc, 2020.

KERET R. Optimisation of micropropagation protocols for Eucalyptus hybrids. MSc, 2020.

ROSMARIN M. Enhancing plant growth via the transgenic production of bacterial volatile organic compounds. MSc, 2020.

VAN DER WALT F.  Investigation of the link between glycogen metabolism and cell size in E. coli. MSc, 2020.


LE ROUX W.  Induced mutagenesis through gamma irradiation of embryogenic callus and selection for drought tolerance in sugarcane. MSc, 2019.


PIETERS J. Identification and biochemical characterisation of an aryl β-glucosidase isolated from a cellulose-acetate rich environment via a functional metagenomic approach. MSc, 2018.

HUGO M. Functional identification of a putative stachyose synthase (StaS, Medtr7g106910.1) from Medicago truncatula, by overexpression in the Arabidopsis stachyose deficient double mutant atrs4/atrs5. MSc, 2018.

​VAN BEEK CR. Overexpression of a tomato SlNAC2 gene in Nicotiana tabacum to determine its potential role in enhancing drought tolerance in plants. MSc, 2018

JACOBS I. Analysis of aspects of the starch metabolic pathway in lower plants. MSc, 2018.

SMITH M. Isolation and characterisation of novel enzymes producing fructo- and galacto-oligosaccharides through a metagenomic approach. PhD, 2018.​


SWANEPOEL CC. Characterisation of the glycoside hydrolase domain of a novel bi-functional metagenomic clone for use in the biofuel production industry. MSc, 2017.

MTHEMBU ZN.  Development of a hairy root bioreactor from Stevia rebaudiana to produce steviol glycosides. MSc, 2017

PRINCE E. Synthesis of phosphorylated polyglucans using phosphorylases. MSc, 2017

NDIMBA RM. Biophysical characterization of the mineral composition of seeds with varying genetic background including transgenic sorghum with reduced amounts of the storage protein kafirin. PhD, 2017.

PRINS, R. The two oceans project: Searching for novel carbohydrate sulfoconjugation enzymes. MSC, 2017.

PHOLO, Z.  Molecular analysis of plant growth promoted with low molecular weight compounds in relation to genetically altered photosynthetic carbohydrate partitioning in higher plants. PhD, 2017.

MUSHFIELDT K.  Mutational analysis of E. coli maltodextrin metabolism.  MSc, 2017.


​JANSE VAN RENSBURG H.  The Arabidopsis GolS1 promotor as a potential biosensor for heat stress and fungal infection, MSc, 2016.

STRYDOM L. Mutational analysis of genes involved in E. coli glycogen degradation. MSc, 2016.

HARTZENBERG L.  Identification and manipulation of starch synthases from marama bean and potato.  MSc, 2016.

MASOABI M. Biotechnological approaches for sugarcane enhancement – Drought tolerance and cell wall manipulation. MSc, 2016.

LOUBSER J. Tools for strigolactone research: Towards a strigolactone-responsive promoter and a strigolactone-activity inhibitor. MSc, 2016.

ROSSOUW MJ. Application of plant growth promoting substances and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi for phytostabilisation of mine tailings. MSc, 2016.

VAN DER MERWE S. Attempting to enhance sugarcane growth through genetic modification. MSc, March 2016.


LEKGARI GLP. Over-expressing Arabidopsis MYB transcription factors in Salvia spp and sugarcane. MSc, 2015. 

LOEDOLFF B. functional roles of raffinose family oligosaccharides: Arabidopsis case studies in seed physiology, biotic stress and novel carbohydrate engineering. PhD, 2015.

DENKHAUS E. Using XhLEA, a group 1 vegetative Late Embryogenesis Abundant protein to aid water deficit tolerance in plants and microbes. MsC, 2015.

JAYAKUMAR R. Functional identification of the chloroplastic raffinose transporter from Arabidopsis. MScAgric, 2015.

​MARAIS C.  Screening, isolating and characterizing acetyl xylan esterase enzymes from a novel ecological niche.  MSc, 2015

DEMPERS D.  Overexpression of α-acetolactate decarboxylase and acetoin reductase/2,3-butanediol dehydrogenase in Arabidopsis thaliana. MSc, 2015

DE VILLIERS RM.  Pp1s148_40v6 in Physcomitrella patens: An AtMAX2 orthologue? MSc, 2015. 

FERNHOUT JJ. Isolation and characterisation of genes involved in carbon and chlorophyll metabolism in Saccharum species hybrids. MSc, 2015.

JEWELL JF. The analysis of glycogen phosphate and glucose-1,6-bisphosphate metabolism in Escherichia coli. MSc, 2015.



SAMODIEN ME.  The analysis of starch degradation in Solanaceae species.  PhD, 2014.

NDIMANDE S. Increasing cellulosic biomass in sugarcane.  PhD, 2014.



CLAASSENS AP.  Investigation of starch metabolism gene and their interactions.  MSc, 2013.

DE WITT RN.  Correlating metabolite and transcript profiles in transgenic sugarcane lines.  MSc, 2013.

GROBBELAAR MC.  Influence of strigolactones and auxin on Sutherlandia (Lessertia) frutescens in vitro plant tissue cultures.  MSc, 2013.

HECTOR SBE. Molecular studies of galactan biosynthesis in red algae. PhD, 2013.

SWART C. Production of libraries to study biopolymer metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana and Tylosema esculentum.  MSc, 2013.

WIESE AJ. Characterisation of carbohydrate metabolism in mycohereotrophic associations between plants and fungi. MSc, 2013.



EGBICHI IM. Modulation of ascorbate peroxidase activity by nitric oxide in soybean. MSc, 2012.

JACOBS FA.  Identification of regulatory elements mediating response of SOD and cyctatin transcripts to salt stress and nitric oxide in soybean nodules.  MSc, 2012.

LOEDOLFF B. Isolation and partial characterisation of PHT1;5, a putative high affinity phosphate transporter from Arabidopsis thaliana. MSc, 2012.

MDODANA T. The effects of the synthetic strigolactone GR24 on Arabidopsis thaliana callus culture. MSc, 2012.

RAPP T. Isolation and characterisation of genes encoding biopolymer manufacturing enzymes. MSc, 2012.

​WILLARD K. Investigation of exopolysaccharide producing bacteria isolated. MSc, 2012.



CONRADIE T.  Genetic engineering of sugarcane for increased sucrose and consumer acceptance.  MSc, 2011.

STEENKAMP LE. Analysis of the effects of the plant growth promoting substances GR24 and smoke water on abiotically-stressed Nicotiana benthamiana seedlings. MSc, 2011.



BOUSSIENGUI-BOUSSIENGUI.  Analysis of the role of relative nucleotide concentrations on the regulation of carbohydrate in higher plants.  PhD, 2010.

CRONJE C.  Manipulation of ascorbate biosynthesis in Solanum lycopersicum (cv Money maker).  MSc, 2010.

FLY R.  Approaches for the study of leaf carbohydrate metabolic compartmentation in Arabidopsis thaliana. MSc, 2010.

GEORGE GM.  Virus induced gene silencing for the study of starch metabolism. PhD, 2009.

HORSTMANN C.  Manipulating cell wall biosynthesis in yeast and higher plants.  MSc, 2010.

KOTZE LM.  An investigation into the effects of smoke-water and GR24 on the growth of Nicotiana benthamiana seedlings.  MSc, 2010.

MACKAY S.  Identification of the genes encoding enzymes involved in the synthesis of the biopolymer paramylon from Euglena gracilis. MSc, 2010.

ZWIEGELAAR JP.  Molecular studies on phosphate homeostasis in higher plants.  PhD, 2010.



GOUWS LM.  The molecular analysis of the effects of lumichrome as a plant growth promoting substance.  PhD, 2009.

NEPEMBE MN.  Elucidatin of the biochemical mechanism of glycogen phosphorylation in Escherichia coli.  MSc, 2009.

SAMODIEN ME.  Analysis of enzymes involved in starch phosphate metabolism.  MSc, 2009.

SPRACKLEN AL. Characterization of transgenic sugarcane lines with perturbed pyrophosphate:fructose 6-phosphate 1-phosphotransgerase (PFP) activity.  MSc, 2009.



BASSON CE.  Analysis of intermediate carbon metabolism in strawberry plants.  MSc, 2008.

GOVENDER C.  Stem specific promoters from sorghum and maize for use in sugarcane.  MSc, 2008.

LOEBENBERG L.  UDP-glucose: β-(1-3)-glucan (paramylon) synthase from Euglena gracilis.  MSc, 2008.

OHLHOFF CW.  Biopolymer gene discovery and characterization using metagenomics libraries.  MSc, 2008.

SMITH ML.  Investigating the role of pyrophosphate fructose 6-phosphate 1-phosphotransferase in phloem loading.  MSc, 2008.

VAN WYK N.  Analysis of dextrin dextranase from Gluconobacter oxydans.  MSc, 2008.



BEKKER J. Manipulation of cell wall composition in sugarcane. PhD, 2007.

FERREIRA SJ.  The analysis and reduction of starch in sugarcane by silencing ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase and over-expressing B-amylase. MSc, 2007.

NDIMANDE GS.  Comparative analysis of differential gene expression in the culms of sorghum.  MSc, 2007.

NELL H.  Genetic manipulation of sucrose-storing tissue to produce alternative products. PhD, 2007.

NICHOLSON TL.  Carbon turnover and sucrose metabolism in the culm of transgenic sugarcane producing 1-kestose.  MSc, 2007.

VAN DER MERWE L.  UDP-glucose: B-(1-3)-glucan (paramylon) synthase from Euglena gracilis.  MSc, 2007.



HITEN NF.  The manipulation of fructose 2,6-bisphosphate levels in sugarcane.  MSc, 2006.

HUSSELMANN LHH.  Molecular characterization of the commercially important Agathosma species.  MSc, 2006.

JOUBERT D.  Manipulation of neurtral invertase activity in sugarcane.  MSc, 2006.

VAN DER MERWE J.  Isolation and evaluation of the sugarcane UDP-glucose dehydrogenase gene and promoter.  PhD, 2006.



BOSCH S.  Trehalose and carbon partitioning in sugarcane.  PhD, 2005.

BOUSSIENGUI-BOUSSIENGUI G.  Remobilization of sucrose from the culm during germination of sugarcane setts.  MSc, 2005.

ORENDO-SMITH R.  Enzyme profiling of a range of sugarcane tissue types with different levels of sucrose.  MSc, 2005.

SCHEEEPERS I.  The influence of genetic manipulation of cytosolic aldolase (ALDc) on respiration in sugarcane.  MSc, 2005.

SWART JC.  The characterization of vacuolar pyrophosphatase expression in sugarcane. MSc, 2005.

TSION GA.  Isolation and characterisation of a culm-specific promoter element from sugarcane. MSc, 2005.

TURNER GM.  Development of in situ hybridisation to examine tissue-specific expression patterns of the invertase genes in sugarcane culm.  MSc, 2005.

VAN DER MERWE MJ.  Influence of hexose-phosphates and carbon cycling on sucrose accumulation in sugarcane spp.  MSc, 2005.



BURGER AL.  The isolation and characterisation of a developmentally-regulated gene from Vitis vinifera L. berries.  PhD, 2004.

CHAMPANIS R.  Aspects of sucrose metabolism in transgenic tobacco.  PhD, 2004.

McCORMICK JA.  Expression behaviour of primary carbon metabolism genes during sugarcane culm development.  MSc, 2004.

SCHAFER WE.  Characterisation of sucrose synthase activity in the sugarcane culm.  PhD, 2004.

TITUS CHA.  Sucrose transporters and sucrose uptake mechanisms in sugarcane.  MSc, 2004.

VENTER M. Isolation of Grapevine promoters with special emphasis on the vacuolar pyrophosphatase.  PhD, 2004.



RAMOUTAR R.  The development of an in situ hybridisation technique to determine the gene expression patterns of UDP-glucose dehydrogenase, pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase and UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase in sugarcane intermodal tissues. MSc, 2003.



SNYMAN SJ.  Development of a transformation system for sugarcane (Saccharum spp. Hybrids) in South Africa using herbicide resistance as a model system.  PhD, 2002.

CARSON DL.  Gene discovery and expression analysis in sugarcane leaf and culm.  PhD, 2002.

ROGBEER O.  Differential gene expression in the culm of sugarcane during development, with special emphasis on the storage parenchyma cells.  MSc, 2002.

ZWIEGELAAR JP.  Tissue specific gene expression in grape berries.  MSc, 2002.



HOEPFNEER SW.  Fructokinase activity in the sugarcane culm: expression patterns and kinetic properties.  MSc, 2001.

ROSE S.  Sucrose accumulation and the expression of neutral invertase in sugarcane.  MSc, 2001.

SANUSHKA R.  Variants of the gene encoding the beta subunit of pyrophosphate dependent phosphofructokinase (PFP) and their transcriptional expression in sugarcane.  MSc, 2001.



BINDON K.  Carbon partitioning in sugarcane intermodal tissue with special reference to the insoluble fraction.  MSc. 2000.