Mr Lazarus Mavima

PhD student


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Primary Supervisor
Fanus Venter

Co Supervisor
Chrizelle Beukes
Emma Steenkamp

Rhizobia are able to fix nitrogen through symbiotic interactions with legumes (Biological Nitrogen Fixation). This does not only promote plant growth and better yields but also enables certain legumes to grow in environments where other plants would struggle to survive and thrive.

Amongst the rhizobia, members of the genus Paraburkholderia (formerly known as Burkholderia) are often associated with poor nutrient soils that are highly acidic and arid.

These bacteria are often isolated in association with indigenous South African legumes and hold great agricultural potential as alternative inoculants for food and forage legumes.

The overall objective of my PhD study is to investigate the biology and evolution of “indigenous” Paraburkholderia species in order to develop a genomics-based framework to predict important functions required for their successful implementation under different agricultural settings.

This will be done by utilizing various genome based resources (genome sequences for individual isolates as well as representative bins from metagenome studies) to investigate the distribution and movement of important functional genes within and across species and to predict and experimentally verify how certain isolates would survive and compete when utilized as agricultural inoculants.

My Galeries


FABI team

TPCP team

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Book Chapters
Mavima L, Steenkamp ET, Coetzee MPA, Palmer M. 2022. Mixta. In Bergey's Manual of Systematics of Archaea and Bacteria (eds M.E. Trujillo, S. Dedysh, P. DeVos, B. Hedlund, P. Kämpfer, F.A. Rainey and W.B. Whitman).
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Mavima L, Beukes CW, Palmer M, De Meyer SE, James EK, Maluk M, Muasya MA, Avontuur JR, Chan WY, Venter SN, Steenkamp ET. (2022) Delineation of Paraburkholderia tuberum sensu stricto and description of Paraburkholderia podalyriae sp. nov. nodulating the South African legume Podalyria calyptrata. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 45(3) 10.1016/j.syapm.2022.126316
Mavima L, Beukes CW, Palmer M, De Meyer SE, James EK, Maluk M, Gross E, dos Reis Junior FB, Avontuur JR, Chan WY, Venter SN, Steenkamp ET. (2020) Paraburkholderia youngii sp. nov. and 'Paraburkholderia atlantica' - Brazilian and Mexican Mimosa-associated rhizobia that were previously known as Paraburkholderia tuberum sv. mimosae. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 10.1016/j.syapm.2020.126152