Thulani Makhalanyane

Thulani Makhalanyane
University of Pretoria | UP · Department of Genetics

Ph.D.

About

91
Publications
15,409
Reads
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1,806
Citations
Introduction
Thulani Peter Makhalanyane completed his MSc studies at the Institute for Microbial Ecology and Genomics in the Department of Biotechnology (obtained Cum laude, 2010) and PhD (2013). He serves as a Young Ambassador for the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME), Reviews Editor for Frontiers in Microbiology and currently Guest Associate Editor for the Terrestrial Microbiology section. Dr Makhalanyane was awarded the 2014/15 T W Kambule Award: Emerging Researcher category.
Additional affiliations
August 2014 - April 2016
University of Pretoria
Position
  • Lecturer
September 2012 - August 2014
University of Pretoria
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2010 - November 2012
University of the Western Cape
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
February 2010 - November 2012
February 2008 - November 2009
University of the Western Cape
Field of study
  • Biotechnology
January 2007 - December 2007
North-West University
Field of study
  • Microbiology

Publications

Publications (91)
Article
Full-text available
Polar Regions (continental Antarctica and the Arctic) are characterized by a range of extreme environmental conditions, which impose severe pressures on biolo- gical life. Polar cold-active cyanobacteria are uniquely adapted to withstand the envi- ronmental conditions of the high latitudes. These adaptations include high ultra-violet radiation and...
Article
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A significant proportion of the Earth's surface is desert or in the process of desertification. The extreme environmental conditions that characterize these areas result in a surface that is essentially barren, with a limited range of higher plants and animals. Microbial communities are probably the dominant drivers of these systems, mediating key...
Article
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Hypoliths (cryptic microbial assemblages that develop on the undersides of translucent rocks) are significant contributors to regional C and N budgets in both hot and cold deserts. Previous studies in the Dry Valleys of Eastern Antarctica have reported three morphologically distinct hypolithic community types: cyanobacteria dominated (type I), fung...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Due to their role as obligate parasites of marine microorganisms, viruses are primary mediators of marine biogeochemical cycles. Recent studies have provided irrevocable evidence showing that viruses augment the metabolisms of bacteria and archaea through expression of auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs). Several studies have shown that AMG...
Article
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Aims The rhizosphere microbiome substantially affects plant health, yet comparatively little is known regarding the foliar community dynamics. Here, we examine the relationship between the microbiota and their response to natural infection by pathogens. Methods We established an experimental system using a set of sorghum recombinant inbred lines (...
Article
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The warming-induced thawing of permafrost promotes microbial activity, often resulting in enhanced greenhouse gas emissions. The ability of permafrost microorganisms to survive the in situ sub-zero temperatures, their energetic strategies and their metabolic versatility in using soil organic materials determine their growth and functionality upon t...
Article
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Physicochemical variables limit and control the distribution of microbial communities in all environments. In the oceans, this may significantly influence functional processes such the consumption of dissolved organic material and nutrient sequestration. Yet, the relative contributions of physical factors, such as water mass variability and depth,...
Article
Grazing is expected to exert a substantial influence on antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in grassland ecosystems. However, the precise effects of grazing on the composition of ARGs in grassland soils remain unclear. This is especially the case for grassland soils subject to long-term grazing. Here, we investigated ARGs and bacterial community com...
Article
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The Antarctic continent is widely considered to be one of the most hostile biological habitats on Earth. Despite extreme environmental conditions, the ice-free areas of the continent, which constitute some 0.44% of the total continental land area, harbour substantial and diverse communities of macro-organisms and especially microorganisms, particul...
Preprint
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Background Understanding the structure and drivers of gut microbiota remains a major ecological endeavour. Recent studies have shown that several factors including diet, lifestyle and geography may substantially shape the human gut microbiota. However, most of these studies have focused on the more abundant bacterial component and comparatively les...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Understanding the structure and drivers of gut microbiota remains a major ecological endeavour. Recent studies have shown that several factors including diet, lifestyle and geography may substantially shape the human gut microbiota. However, most of these studies have focused on the more abundant bacterial component and comparatively les...
Preprint
Full-text available
Microorganisms form the basis of ocean ecosystems yet the effects of perturbations such as decreasing pH on microbial community structure, interactions and functionality remain compared to multicellular organisms. Using an experimental manipulation of Southern Ocean seawater, we subjected bacterioplankton and mycoplankton to artificial pH decreases...
Article
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Background: Soil bacteria naturally produce antibiotics as a competitive mechanism, with a concomitant evolution, and exchange by horizontal gene transfer, of a range of antibiotic resistance mechanisms. Surveys of bacterial resistance elements in edaphic systems have originated primarily from human-impacted environments, with relatively little in...
Article
A hot desert hypolith metagenomic DNA sequence dataset was screened in-silico for genes annotated as acetyl xylan esterases (AcXEs). One of the genes identified encoded a ∼36 kDa protein (Axe1 NaM1 ). The synthesised gene was cloned, expressed and the resulting protein, purified. NaM1 was optimally active at pH 8.5 and 30°C, and functionally stable...
Article
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Advanced genomic-analysis techniques now suggest that microbial communities in cold, nutrient-poor Antarctic soils can acquire their energy from the oxidation of trace gases, rather than by photosynthesis.
Article
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Invasiveness and the impacts of introduced plants are known to be mediated by plant-microbe interactions. Yet, the microbial communities associated with invasive plants are generally poorly understood. Here we report on the first comprehensive investigation of the bacterial and fungal communities inhabiting the rhizosphere and the surrounding bulk...
Article
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Hypoliths, microbial assemblages found below translucent rocks, provide important ecosystem services in deserts. While several studies have assessed microbial diversity of hot desert hypoliths and whether these communities are metabolically active, the interactions among taxa remain unclear. Here, we assessed the structure, diversity, and co-occurr...
Article
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Background: The Antarctic continent is considered the coldest and driest place on earth with simple ecosystems, devoid of higher plants. Soils in the ice-free regions of Antarctica are known to harbor a wide range of microorganisms from primary producers to grazers, yet their ecology and particularly the role of viruses is poorly understood. In th...
Article
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Background Metagenomics allows unprecedented access to uncultured environmental microorganisms. The analysis of metagenomic sequences facilitates gene prediction and annotation, and enables the assembly of draft genomes, including uncultured members of a community. However, while several platforms have been developed for this critical step, there i...
Article
Microorganisms able to synthesize rhodopsins have the capacity to translocate ions through their membranes, using solar energy to generate a proton motive force. Rhodopsins are the most abundant phototrophic proteins in oceanic surface waters and are key constituents in marine bacterial ecology. However, it remains unclear how rhodopsins are used i...
Article
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Here we report the draft genome sequence of Hymenobacter sp. CRA2 isolated from the Nama Karoo shrub land soils of the Northern Cape, South Africa. This genome is approximately 5.88Mb long and the assembly comprised 45 contigs. The draft genome sequence has been deposited in DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank under the accession number NZ_MVBC00000000 and is availa...
Article
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Massilia sp. are aerobic, Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria that are found in air, water, and soils. Here we describe the draft genome sequence of Massilia sp. KIM, isolated from the South African grassland soils. The total length of the genome was estimated at 5.73Mb, comprised of 17 contigs. The draft genome has been deposited in the DDBJ/EMBL/G...
Article
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The members of the genus Thermoactinomyces are known for their protein degradative capacities. Thermoactinomyces sp. strain AS95 is a Gram-positive filamentous bacterium, isolated from moderately saline water in the Thamelaht region of Algeria. This isolate is a thermophilic aerobic bacterium with the capacity to produce extracellular proteolytic e...
Article
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The temporal dynamics of desert soil microbial communities are poorly understood. Given the implications for ecosystem functioning under a global change scenario, a better understanding of desert microbial community stability is crucial. Here, we sampled soils in the central Namib Desert on sixteen different occasions over a one-year period. Using...
Article
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Understanding microbial adaptation to environmental stressors is crucial for interpreting broader ecological patterns. In the most extreme hot and cold deserts, cryptic niche communities are thought to play key roles in ecosystem processes and represent excellent model systems for investigating microbial responses to environmental stressors. Howeve...
Article
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Acetyl xylan esterases (AcXEs), also termed xylan deacetylases, are broad specificity Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes (CAZymes) that hydrolyse ester bonds to liberate acetic acid from acetylated hemicellulose (typically polymeric xylan and xylooligosaccharides). They belong to eight families within the Carbohydrate Esterase (CE) class of the CAZy datab...
Article
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The genus Geobacillus is comprised of a diverse group of spore-forming Gram-positive thermophilic bacterial species and is well known for both its ecological diversity and as a source of novel thermostable enzymes. Although the mechanisms underlying the thermophilicity of the organism and the thermostability of its macromolecules are reasonably wel...
Article
The Fynbos biome in South Africa is globally recognised as a plant biodiversity hotspot. However, very little is known about the bacterial communities associated with Fynbos plants, despite interactions between primary producers and bacteria impact the physiology of both partners and shape ecosystem diversity. This study reports on the structure, p...
Article
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Here we provide the first exploration of microbial diversity from three distinct Victoria Valley edaphic habitats, namely lithobionts (hypoliths, endoliths) and surface soils. Using a combination of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis and 16S rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing we assess community structure and diversi...
Article
Full-text available
Geobacillus spp. are potential sources of novel enzymes, such as those involved in the degradation of recalcitrant polymers. Here, we report a Geobacillus genome that may help reveal genomic differences between this strain and publicly available representatives of the same genus from diverse niches.
Article
In hyperarid ecosystems, macroscopic communities are often restricted to cryptic niches, such as hypoliths (microbial communities found beneath translucent rocks), which are widely distributed in hyperarid desert environments. While hypolithic communities are considered to play a major role in productivity, the functional guilds implicated in these...
Article
Full-text available
Hypoliths are microbially colonized translucent rocks that represent a key refuge niche in extreme arid environments such as the Antarctic Dry Valleys. These cryptic microbial assemblages are crucial as they mediate numerous ecosystem processes. Here, we present the first draft genome of a hypolith isolate belonging to the α-proteobacterial class a...