Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa

The CSIR is one of the leading research and development, technology and innovation institutions in Africa, and undertakes approximately 10% of all research and development on the continent. As one of the organisation’s five Operating Units, CSIR Biosciences’ core focus is to provide bioscience solutions that improve health, food security and bio-energy provision and help create a sustainable biotechnology industry in South Africa that is sensitive to economic realities and the natural environment of the society we live in. The Unit has a critical mass of scientists, engineers and technicians, in a number of areas including food safety and food science. CSIR Biosciences has been involved in eight INCO FP4 and FP5 projects, one DGXIV project, seven integrated FP6 and 2 FP7 SSA projects.

Staff members:

  • Eugenia Barros, PhD

CSIR has expertise in biosafety evaluation of transgenic versus non-transgenic food crops that include maize and potato. Three omics’ technologies, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics are routinely used in CSIR's laboratories as part of biosafety evaluations of transgenic food crops. The working group has a fully equipped proteomics facility that will allow the identification and sequencing of any ‘novel’ proteins/ peptides. CSIR is currently developing a protein biomarker for the FP7 project Veg-i-Trade under the leadership of Eugenia Barros.

Selected publications:

  • Dawlal, P.I., Barros, E & Marais, G.J. (2011) Evaluation of maize cultivars for their susceptibility towards mycotoxigenic fungi under storage conditions. Journal of  Stored Products Research. In press
  • Mashaba C. and Barros E. (2011) Screening South African potato, tomato and wheat cultivars for five carotenoids South African Journal of Science 107(9/10): 1-6
  • J. P. van Dijk, C. Leifert, E. Barros, E. J. Kok (2010) Gene expression profiling for food safety assessment: Examples in potato and maize. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 58: 21-25
  • Lezar S. and Barros E. (2010) Oligonucleotide microarray for the identification of potential mycotoxigenic fungi. BMC Microbiology 10: 87
  • Barros E., Lezar S., Antonen M. J.,  Van Dijk J. P., Rohlig R. M., Kok E. J. and  Engel K-H (2010) Comparison of two GM maize varieties with near-isogenic non-GM variety using transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. Plant Biotechnology Journal 8 (4): 436-451