Welcome to the 2019 Botany Conference Website

Click here to register

Johannesburg 8 – 11 January 2019

The deadline for registration for the upcoming congress is now upon us, however at the request of the SASSB community we are extending the deadline by another week. The new deadline will therefore be 23rd November, 2018. If you have not submitted your abstract yet, please do so as soon as possible. We have a vibrant programme planned and are working towards its finalisation.

Due to some issues regarding the website and registration we have a slight delay in preparing invoices for those who have already registered. Our sincere apologies for this delay. We are pushing our Debtors to generate invoices as soon as possible. Most invoices have been sent out, but if you have not received yours yet, it should reach you via email at the latest by Friday, we thank you for your patience.

The LOC invites you to register for the gala dinner. The congress fee come in at a very competitive price when including the gala dinner registration. This will be held at the Randpark Golf Course and centre around a night of exceptional food, entertainment and lively music to dance the night away. The price includes welcoming drinks, soft drinks, wine for the table and entertainment.

The University has eventually informed us that the Sophia Town residence will be made available for accommodation during the congress. This residence is situated across the road from the Auckland Park campus and within walking distance of the congress venue. Should you want to make use of this for your accommodation needs please contact Ms Mildred Muller at mmuller@uj.ac.za. The total cost is broken down as follows:

R 160.00 (once off linen fee)
R 160.00 per person/night (only single basis available)
R 110.00 breakfast

Additionally, there is a large number of guesthouse located close to the Kingsway campus (e.g. Auckland Park, Melville, Milpark, Richmond, etc.) to suit your accommodation needs.

Local congress organisers
Dr Eduard Venter (Chairperson)
Prof Annah Moteetee (Co-chairperson)
Ms Mildred Muller (Secretary; Hospitality Officer)
Mr Thinus Fourie (Treasurer)
Ms Janice Williamson (Registration Officer)
Prof Michelle van der Bank (Fund raising Officer)
Prof Ben-Erik van Wyk (Scientific Programme Officer)
Prof Bettine van Vuuren (Scientific Programme Officer)
Prof Fanus Venter (Adjudication Officer)
Dr Kelsey Glennon (Scientific Programme Officer, Workshop Coordinator)
Dr Aleksei Oskolski (Symposium Coordinator)
Ms Estherna Pretorius (Publicity Officer)
Ms Rene Tong (Venues and Facilities Officer)

Registration costs

Full registration: R2 800
Student registration: R2 400
Gala dinner: R1 000
Congress T-shirt: R100

The Congress Organisers will strive to make accommodation available at the University of Johannesburg located close to the Auckland Park campus. Additional Bed and Breakfast/Self-catering accommodation is available around the University of Johannesburg campus. Please see the congress website for additional information.

Visa support letters
Please plan your travel well in advance and allow plenty of time for visa application. The Congress Organisers will be able to provide a visa support letter on request from a delegate. Please note that the Congress Organisers cannot issue formal invitation letters or actual visas to attend the congress. Additionally, this support letter does not guarantee the granting of a visa.

Please send your request to saabconference@uj.ac.za and include the following information:

  • Your name as it appears on your passport
  • Date of birth
  • Country of Issue of your passport
  • Your current postal mailing address
  • Your registration confirmation
  • If you are the author of an accepted poster/oral presentation, provide the title.

Please note that a visa support letter will only be issued upon confirmation and after full payment for registration fees has been received. The letters will only be issued as a PDF via email and will take approximately one week to draft.

Important dates

Registration: 1 October to 15 November 2018
Abstract submission deadline: 1 October to 15 November 2018

Congress contact information:
Ms Mildred Muller
Email: saabconference@uj.ac.za
Tel: +27-11-559-2436

Announcements as PDFs:

  1. First announcement (PDF)
  2. Second announcement (PDF)
  3. Third announcement (PDF)



Delegates have to register before submitting an abstract. Once the registration form is submitted you will be taken to the abstract submission page. Upon submission of your registration form you will be billed for your congress attendance. This invoice will be emailed to the email address supplied on the registration form. Please ensure that the provided email is correct.

Delegate registration details
First name(s):
Name and surname to appear on name tag:
Billing address:
Postal code:
Confirm email address:

Registration fees This includes a welcome reception, all lunches and teas and light snacks at the poster sessions.
Professional registration ZAR 2800
Student registration ZAR 2400
Registration of an accompanying person of a delegate ZAR 1000

Additional fees
Conference t-shirt R100 per person t-shirt(s). Size:
Gala Dinner R1000 per person places

Dietary requirements

Please indicate your dietary requirements:


Information on abstracts, posters and presentations

Download this information as a PDF

If you have already registered and would like to submit your abstract, please submit your abstract on this page.

Abstract preparation:

The abstract must be prepared in the following format (please see the example below):

Use Times New Roman, font size 11
Single spacing between lines and 0 pts before/after paragraphs. Do not leave this setting on automatic. Please justify the text of the abstract. Present the abstract as a single paragraph and not exceeding 250 words. The Congress Organisers will edit abstracts exceeding the specified length.

First line: Presenter of the poster/oral presentation’s name and surname, email address.
Second line: Indicate preference for poster or oral presentation.
Third line: Indicate field that the presentation falls under (e.g. Taxonomy).
Fourth line: Leave open.
Fifth line: Title of the abstract in bold text.
Sixth line: Leave open.
Seventh line: Authors. Indicate as author initial(s) (with a full stop between each initial) and surname. Separate authors using a comma. Underline the presenting author’s name. Use superscript numbering (1, 2, 3, etc) to denote different affiliations after each author’s surname. Only use numbering when authors are affiliated with different institutions and not for authors that are all from the same institute.
Eighth line: Author affiliations in italicised font. Use superscript numbering (1, 2, 3, etc) to denote different addresses at the start of each new address.
Leave a line open between the abstract details and the body of the abstract.


Eduard Venter, e-mail: eduardv@uj.ac.za
Oral Presentation
Plant Biotechnology/Plant Molecular Biology

Resistance gene regulation by microRNA in Diuraphis noxia infested wheat

E. Venter, V.F. Nicolis
Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa

Wheat is an important food source in the world. Its production is challenged by the occurrence of plant pathogens and pests. In South Africa the biggest problems are related to rusts and Diuraphis noxia (the Russian wheat aphid). The interaction between D. noxia and wheat has been studied in depth at the gene expression level. There is, however, a lack in our understanding on how these genes are regulated. To further our understanding of this complex process we are studying the expression of microRNA during the interaction. These nucleic acids do not code for proteins but regulate gene expression at several levels. Selected microRNA from the interaction had resistance genes as possible targets for regulation. Several of the identified resistance genes were only reported from the wheat genome sequence and have not yet been deposited in other databases or gene expression studies. Three of these resistance proteins included DNA binding and protein-protein interaction domains bundled with the nucleotide-binding-leucine-rich-repeat domains. Expression analyses of both the microRNA and their putative targets displayed similar regulation profiles for the resistance gene transcripts. One miRNA, tae-miR8011a, displayed distinct regulation profiles between susceptible and resistant wheat near isogenic lines. One of its possible targets, located in the Sr35 resistance gene cluster, also displayed differential regulation between the near isogenic lines, albeit not necessarily directly reflected by the microRNA. This study is providing information that will further elucidate our understanding of how wheat plants respond to pests.

Poster presentations:

Oral Presentations:

Please use the following guidelines to prepare your talk: