Ms Juanita Avontuur



PhD student

Department

Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
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Primary Supervisor
Emma Steenkamp

Co Supervisor
Martin Coetzee
Fanus Venter

My research focuses on the taxonomy and evolution of root nodule bacterial genus Bradyrhizobium. This genus is an ecologically and agriculturally important assemblage. Although this group of bacteria has been the subject of many studies, emphasis is usually on the bacteria-legume interaction and its key role in improving agricultural sustainability. Relatively few studies have been done on the taxonomy and evolution of the genus Bradyrhizobium. The overall research objective for my study is thus to evaluate the current taxonomic status of the genus Bradyrhizobium using genome information and the future feasibility thereof. This study can provide us with the basis for using genome sequence information as a resource to investigate biological traits important to the delineation of this genus.

 

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Publication
Palmer M, Steenkamp ET, Coetzee MPA, Avontuur JR, Chan WY, Van Zyl E, Blom J, Venter SN. (2018) Mixta gen. nov., a new genus in the Erwiniaceae. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 10.1099/ijsem.0.002540
Beukes CW, Palmer M, Manyaka P, Chan W-Y, Avontuur JR, Van Zyl E, Huntemann M, Clum A, Pillay M, Palaniappan K, Varghese N, Mikhailova N, Stamatis D, Reddy TBK, Daum C, Shapiro N, Markowitz V, Ivanova N, Kyrpides N, Woyke T, Blom J, Whitman WB, Venter SN, Steenkamp ET. (2017) Genome data provides high support for generic boundaries in Burkholderia sensu lato. Frontiers in Microbiology 8(1154) 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01154 PDF
Steenkamp ET, van Zyl E, Beukes CW, Avontuur J, Chan W-Y, Palmer M, Mthombeni LS, Phalane FL, Sereme TK, Venter SN. (2015) Burkholderia kirstenboschensis sp. nov. nodulates papilionoid legumes indigenous to South Africa. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 38(8):545-554. 10.1016/j.syapm.2015.09.003