The 21st Biennial Conference of the South African Society of Microbiology (SASM) took place between 4-6 May - the first time this conference has been hosted virtually. The theme of this conference was ‘The Interacting Microbe’ with researchers from different fields of Microbiology presenting in sessions focusing on interactions between microbes and plants, humans and animals as well as with chemicals, the natural and built environment and lastly with water and each other. FABI was well represented at this virtual conference, with Dr Chrizelle Beukes, Juanita Avontuur, Jane Chepsergon, Dineo Mailula and Brenda Salasini contributing oral presentations, while Dr Esther Muema, Mabodiba Maake, Precious Sedibane and Silindile Maphosa presenting posters. These FABIans are part of the following Research Groups: Bacterial Genomics and Host Pathogen Interactions, the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Plant Health Biotechnology (CPHB) and Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP). All presentations delivered by participating FABIans were well-received and clearly highlighted the relevance of the research conducted at the Institute. FABI was also honored to have two of their members, Jane Chepsergon and Precious Sedibane nominated for best oral and poster presentations respectively.