Ms Mabodiba Maake

PhD student


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Primary Supervisor
Emma Steenkamp
Fanus Venter

My Files

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 Fanus Venter and Emma Steenkamp.

My MSc focuses on the diversity of Bradyrhizobium and Mesorhizobium strains in South African indigenous legumes within the  Genisteae tribe. The Genisteae tribe (sub-family Papilionoideae) is one of the largest legume tribes and are known to be predominantly nodulated by Bradyrhizobium. Recent studies show that southern African lineage Genisteae may associate predominantly with Mesorhizobium. This study employs culture-dependent approaches i.e. polyphasic approaches including genomic, phylogenetic and phenotypic tests to study the diversity of rhizobia in indigenous legumes. This study will contribute towards the discovery and development of highly effective rhizobia inoculants for sustainable and cheaper food production.

Lungani Nkosi (FABI just intern)

Melandré van Lill  (2021Honours  student)


FABI’s Internship Programme in Phytosanitation and Biosecurity expands even further

Two more candidates, Phozisa Dlokweni and Sindiso Mtshubungu joined the internship programme in Phytosanitation and Biosecurity at FABI on 1 October. Phozisa and Sindiso both have obtained degrees in forestry at the Nelson Mandela University.

Phyloge-Know-Its take gold in the FABI Quiz Night

FABI’s popular online Quiz Night had 12 teams battling for honours once again on 25 July.

FABIans present at the SASM conference

FABI was well represented at the 21st Biennial Conference of the South African Society of Microbiology (SASM) took place virtually between 4-6 May.

Industry partners seconded to the University of Pretoria

Dr Miekie Human and Stefan Links are employed by Grain SA, but have been seconded to the University of Pretoria with effect from 1 February for part of their time.

Phyloge-knows-it crowned “brains” of FABI at first virtual quiz night

Phyloge-knows-it outwitted 12 teams to be crowned winners at FABI’s first virtual Quiz Night on 4 September.

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.