Dr Christell van der Vyver

As plant biotechnologist I focus on in vitro plant regeneration systems and inducing genetic alteration in plants. On a day-to-day basis I am involved in the institutes’ development and execution of genetic transformation of sugarcane, wheat and model plant species such as tobacco, potato and medicago. These plants are genetically manipulated mainly to understand carbohydrate metabolism and partitioning in plants and play a big role in the sugarcane industry for improving cultivars and testing gene function. I am also especially interested in developing improved systems for in vitro selection and explore the potential of gene stacking in sugarcane which will be applicable and beneficial to our industry partners in the field.

List of Publications

  • C. van der Vyver, B.J. Vorster, K.J. Kunert and C.A. Cullis. 2011. Analysis of radiation-induced genome alterations in Vigna unguiculata. Research and Reports in Biology 2:89-99. DOI:
  • Van der Vyver C. 2010. Genetic transformation of the euploid Saccharum officinarum via direct and indirect embryogenesis. Sugar Tech 12 (1): 21-25, DOI: 10.1007/s12355-010-0005-9
  • Van der Vyver C., Stander C., Kossmann J. and Groenewald H. 2010. Establishment of alternative selection systems for transgenic sugarcane callus. In: Aspects of Applied Biology 96, Agriculture: Africa’s “engine for growth” – Plant science & biotechnology hold the key, pp. 291-295
  • A. Kiggundu, J. Muchwezi, C van der Vyver, A Viljoen, J. Vorster, U. Schluter and K. Kunert. 2009. Deleterious effects of plant cystatins against the banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 73 (2): 87-105
  • C. A. Cullis, B. J. Vorster, C. Van Der Vyver, K. J. Kunert. 2008. Transfer of genetic material between the chloroplast and nucleus: How is it related to stress in plants? Annals of Botany; doi: 10.1093/aob/mcn173
  • Kunert K., Martins D., Beyene G., Hofs J-L., Kruger K., Van der Vyver C. and Schluter U. 2008. Effect of water deficit stress on cotton plants expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis toxin. Annals of Applied Biology 152: 255-262
  • Kiggundu A., Goulet M-C., Goulet C., Dubuc J-F., Rivard D., Benchabane M., Pépin G., Van der Vyver C., Kunert K. and Michaud D. 2006. Modulating the proteinase inhibitory profile of a plant cystatin by single mutations at positively selected amino acid sites. The Plant Journal 48 (3): 403-413.
  • Botha A-M., Venter E., Van der Vyver C. and Kunert K.J. 2004. Development and application of molecular DNA markers in Africa: a South African view. South African Journal of Botany 70 (1): 152-166.
  • Van der Vyver C., Schneidereit J., Driscoll S., Turner J., Kunert K. and Foyer C.  2003.  Oryzacystatin I expression in transformed tobacco produces a conditional growth phenotype and enhances chilling tolerance. Plant Biotechnology Journal 1: 101-112.
  • Kunert K.J., Vorster J., Bester C. and Cullis C.A. 2002. DNA microchip technology in the plant tissue culture industry. In: K Rajasekaran, TJ Jacks and JW Finley (eds). Crop Biotechnology, Symposium Series No 829. American Chemical Society, Washington DC. ISBN 0-8412-3766-2; p 86-96.