Welkom by Universiteit Stellenbosch

Makhalanyane​ Laboratory



Main Research Theme
:  African microbiome research 
Group Leader: Prof. Thulani P Makhalanyane
NRF Rating: P

Contact details:
Office: JC Smuts Building A310
Phone: +27 21 808 5854
​Email: tpm@sun.ac.za

View Publications

Research overview 
Recent studies have provided irrefutable evidence regarding the importance of microbial communities. For example, studies on soils have shown that microbial communities drive nutrient recycling and organic matter decomposition. In the oceans, microbial communities are known to mediate carbon sequestration and are the base of marine food webs. The microbiome has been shown to digest complex nutrients and there is some evidence that microbes may play roles in controlling food cravings and behaviour. Despite the strong evidence on the importance of the microbiome, comparatively little is known regarding African microbiomes. ARM at SU aims to use high-throughput sequencing to study geographically strategic terrestrial, marine, and freshwater microbiomes decreasing the current knowledge deficit.

Main projects
  1. The African Microbiome Project: A multidisciplinary initiate to sequence environmental and host-associated samples from the African continent
  2. Establishing genetic, phylogenetic and functional mechanisms that shape microbiome diversity of polar and alpine soils
  3. Microbiomes as sentinels of change in coastal and marine environments
  4. Investigating the effects of emerging contaminants in wastewater treatment plants on African rivers
  5. Characterizing environmental resistomes from diverse microbiomes