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MSc student

Department

Microbiology and Plant Pathology
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My Masters project focuses on the species description of a highly diverse group Burkholderia isolates associated with four indigenous legume species including, Hypocalyptus, Podalyria, Cyclopia and Virgilia. This was done by assessing whole genome relatedness between the undescribed Burkholderia isolates at an intra- and inter-cluster level using DNA-DNA hybridization. In addition to this, the phylogenetic position of these isolates was also assessed using an expanded multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) scheme. Our data will give us a consensus type of taxonomy that forms the basis of a polyphasic systematics approach.

With this study, we hope to make a significant contribution towards deciphering and understanding the exact identities of indigenous Burkholderia species that establishing nitrogen fixing symbioses with legumes of the subfamily Papilionoideae.

 

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Publication
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