Mr Lazarus Mavima
I joined FABI in 2017 to pursue a Master of Science degree with the department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology at University of Pretoria. Currently, I am working with soil bacteria called rhizobia which are able to establish a symbiosis with roots or stems of leguminous plants.
My Master’s degree project focuses on investigating the taxonomic status of various rhizobial Paraburkholderia strains associated with mimosoid and papilionoid legumes. The main goal is to improve the understanding of the biology, diversity and ecology of rhizobia. Hence, promoting both the identification of rhizobial strains with interesting features and the identification of efficient combinations of rhizobia-legume symbiosis for agricultural applications.
To investigate the taxonomic status of bacteria, we utilize an evolution based approach (genealogical concordance analysis) to define species. Here, we construct several single housekeeping gene phylogenies, investigate their congruency and then generate a primary species hypothesis. Subsequently, seek further lines of evidence to support the primary species hypothesis by making use of several genotypic and phenotypic characterizations including whole genome based methods (for instance, average nucleotide identities (ANI) and DNA G+C content similarities).