Mr Stephan Engelbrecht
Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
I joined the FABI family during my third year as an undergraduate mentorship student, where I developed my initial scientific curiosity in the Wessels lab. Since then I completed my honours degree in biotechnology in the FMG research group under supervision of Prof. Zander Myburg. My project entailed the development of a low-density SNP chip for routine industry breeding applications (individual fingerprinting, parentage assignment and species discrimination) on the TaqMan OpenArray platform, which I successfully completed in close collaboration with the FMG marker team.
Currently I am enrolled in an MSc degree in genetics, which involves allele-specific expression analysis of Eucalyptus hybrid transcriptomes as a tool to dissect cis-regulatory variation, genomic imprinting, hybrid vigour and general interspecific genome compatibility of elite hybrids. My MSc will develop essential bioinformatic skills such as RNA-seq read mapping and alignment, variant calling, haplotype phasing and the application of statistical genomics. Taken together, this project ultimately aims to characterise changes in gene and allelic expression associated with interspecific genomic hybridisation.