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PAG 30 | 13-18 January | Booth #119

Join us for a workshop

Leading a new era of genomic analysis

Monday, 16 January | 12:50 PM - 3:00 PM | Town  & Country B 

Join Zander Myburg from the University of Pretoria Forest and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), Dr Shaun Clare, Research Geneticist for the USDA-ARS National Germplasm Laboratory and Dr Johnathon LaMantia Manager of Tree R&D for Terviva talking about the genomic technologies that enable innovation and creativity to address modern agricultural hurdles. Scientists looking into the future to create crop breeding solutions for agriculture impacted by a changing climate, water scarcity, less arable land to meet production needs, supply chain disruptions, production instabilities and a limited labour force, all of which affect farmer's ability to meet the need for an increased food supply to feed a growing population.   

Hear about:

  1. Targeted trait improvement in blueberry and cranberry has been hindered by lack of a suitable genotyping platform. The Flex-SeqTM  platform provides targeted genotyping that is cost-effective, flexible and highly efficient. For each crop, a diverse set of accessions was selected to develop a highly optimized probe set. The final probe sets target 22k and 17k loci in blueberry and cranberry, respectively, that can be utilized for genetic studies.  
  2. Pongamia pinnata is a sub-tropical legume tree species, native to India and adapted to grow on marginal land in a harsh, monsoonal climate. When planted in an orchard, an acre of pongamia can yield 4 times that of soybean and sequester 115 tons of carbon. Along with Rapid Genomics, we have developed 3500 robust SNP markers that have enabled a global genetic diversity assessment of pongamia. We will also demonstrate the utility of these markers in elucidating pongamia mating biology and paternity assignment to identify cultivar differences in pollinizer rates.
  3. Molecular breeding strategies for highly outcrossed plants such as Eucalyptus tree species will benefit from genome-wide, multi-allelic DNA marker resources. We used Flex-Seq technology to develop a gene-based haplotype mining panel targeting 8,915 regions at 4,367 gene loci in Eucalyptus ( We tested the panel in 20 diverse individuals from multiple Eucalyptus species and identified multi-allelic haplotype markers that will be useful for understanding genome diversity and for haplotype-based molecular breeding.  
  4.  Panel discussion: The future of genotyping in agriculture. 


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Meet the speakers

Prof Zander Myburg

Professor in Genetics,
University of Pretoria

Speaker Bio
Zander Myburg

Zander Myburg is a Professor in Genetics and Director of the Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) Programme in the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria (UP). His research team has pioneered the use of population genomics and systems genetics approaches to unravel the genetic control of growth and wood formation in Eucalyptus trees. He was the lead investigator of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Eucalyptus Genome Project which generated the reference sequence for the genus (Myburg et al. 2014, Nature) and a new, ongoing DOE-funded project for large-scale sequencing of over 3700 eucalypt genomes (2022-2026).

Dr Shaun Clare

Research Geneticist,
U.S. Department of Agriculture 

Speaker Bio
Dr Shaun Clare

Shaun Clare is a Research Geneticist at the USDA-ARS, working at the National Clonal Germplasm Repository on genetic characterization of multiple horticultural crops including blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, pears and hops.

Dr Johnathon LaMantia

Manager, Tree R&D,

Speaker Bio
Dr Johnathon LaMantia

Manager, Tree R&D, Terviva

Jonathan La Mantia received a BS in environmental plant biology from the University of Rhode Island and a PhD in ecological and molecular plant physiology from the Pennsylvania State University. Jonathan is the manager of germplasm analytics at Terviva and is developing genomics tools to build a molecular breeding program for pongamia.  Jonathan has extensive research experience developing genomic resources and elucidating the genetic mechanisms that help regulate yield, seed composition and pest resistance in soybeans, trees and grasses. He is recognized as the scientist who discovered the dwarfing mechanism in annual bluegrass. More recently, he identified new regions in the soybean genome that regulate seed protein and oil, soybean aphid resistant and seed coat hardness. 



In addition to the workshop, attendees can interact with experts during our poster presentations featuring minor groove binder (MGB) probes and an assay platform used for high-throughput genotyping for complex plant species.  Our second poster focuses on a new targeted genotyping by sequencing technology (tGBS) for high-throughput agricultural parentage, marker-assisted selection, and genomic selection programs.


Flex-Seq targeted GBS
Minor groove binder (MGB) probes
Capture-Seq targeted GBS