Molecular Laboratory

Scifest 2012 PCR Machines FireReader
Nanodrop Lab Winterschool 2012

SAIAB’s Molecular Laboratory underwent extensive refurbishment in 2011. The new facility comprising twenty workstations is fully-equipped for genetics research. New equipment includes five PCR machines, a Gel Doc System, the Nanodrop 2000 and the 3500 Genetic Analyzer. In addition, laboratory computers house a range of genetic analysis software including Geneious, Lasergene and GeneMapper.

The lab is equipped for DNA extractions, PCR amplification, cycle sequencing and capillary electrophoresis (for sequencing and fragment analysis).

The laboratory has played a particularly proud role in post-graduate education in its short lifespan. A total of 31 post-graduate students (8 Honours, 16 MSc and 7 PhD) and 19 interns have been trained in molecular techniques and have/are producing data for their degrees or internships in our laboratory.

The staff and students associated with the laboratory have contributed significantly to the research outputs of SAIAB, with presentations at national and international meetings and conferences.

Visitors, research associates and collaborators regularly use the facility. 

The laboratory is involved in DNA Barcoding in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding (CCDB) at the University of Guelph. In addition, the laboratory has been selected to participate in the Barcode of Wildlife Project (a pilot project to demonstrate the value of DNA barcoding for investigating and prosecuting wildlife crime) coordinated by CBOL (the Consortium for the Barcode of Life).

Since its inception, SAIAB’s Molecular Laboratory has played an active role in science advancement at SAIAB. The laboratory participates annually in SciFest Africa (hands-on apprenticeships demonstrating DNA extractions for high school learners), SAIAB Winterschool (lectures and practical sessions for university students) and undergraduate teaching (practicals to complement the lectures delivered to students in the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Sciences at Rhodes University).

Workshops enabling learners and students to gain experience in molecular techniques such as DNA extraction, PCR and sequencing can be arranged.

For all queries relating to the Molecular Lab please email Taryn Bodill