Ms Mabodiba Maake

MSc student


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Primary Supervisor
Emma Steenkamp
Fanus Venter

I completed my BSc in Applied microbiology in 2017 and my honours in Medical virology (2018), both at the University of Pretoria. I am currently enrolled for my master’s in microbiology under the wonderful supervision of Prof F. Venter and Emma Steenkamp.

My MSc focuses on the Bradyrhizobium and Mesorhizobium genus in South African indigenous legumes within the  Genisteae tribe. The Genisteae tribe (sub-family Papilionoideae) is one of the largest tribes of legumes and are predominantly nodulated by strains in the genus Bradyrhizobium. This genus can establish symbiosis with many agriculturally important legumes such as cowpea and Bambara groundnut and also have broad geographical distribution. This study employs both culture-dependent (polyphasic approach; genomic, phylogenetic and phenotypic test) to study the diversity of rhozbia in indigenous legumes. This study will contribute towards the discovery and development of highly effective rhizobia inoculants for sustainable and cheaper food production.


FABIans take part in the first virtual SASBi-SC student symposium

FABIans joined young researchers from several countries for the South African Society of Bioinformatics Student Council (SASBi-SC) Online Student Symposium from 4-6 August. FABIans contributed two oral presentations and a project overview to the 30 presentations at the online symposium.

FABIans uphold SPOOF tradition with an historic virtual meeting

For the first time in its 23-year history, FABI hosted a virtual Society for the Presentation of Outrageous Findings (SPOOF) event on 17 July. FABIans submitted nine pre-recorded videos, which in the spirit of the time, reflected the lighter moments of a nation under lockdown. The Gene Jockeys took the prize for the Best Abstract (with the subliminal message “Vote for us. FABI Director Prof.