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Academic Staff

Paul Meyers

Dr Paul Meyers
E-mail:paul.meyers@uct.ac.za | Telephone: +27 21 650 3261 | Facsimile: +27 21 689 7573
Paul Meyers graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1987 with a B.Sc, in Microbiology and Chemistry. He went on to do Honours in Microbiology in 1988 at UCT and then undertook a Ph.D. on cyanide degradation by Bacillus pumilus, graduating from UCT in 1993. In 1994 he took a postdoctoral position at Monash University, Melbourne (Australia), where he worked on phosphate removal from wastewater by Acinetobacter spp. He returned to Cape Town to take up a position as a postdoctoral fellow and honorary lecturer in the Department of Medical Microbiology at UCT at the beginning of 1996, working on Mycobacterium tuberculosis. He was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Microbiology in March 1999. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology.

Research

We are investigating the diversity of South African actinobacteria as a source of novel antimycobacterial molecules (i.e. bioprospecting for new antibiotics). We are also investigating the diversity of actinobacterial endophytes of indigenous plants. Most of our work is on actinobacterial biodiversity and taxonomy rather than novel antimycobacterial molecules.

We are investigating new DNA sequencing-based tools to improve actinobacterial taxonomy. These efforts include multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) based on protein-encoding genes (e.g. gyrB, rpoB, recA, atpD and relA), as well as the identification of molecular signatures (amino acid insertions and deletions) in protein-encoding genes. These sequencing tools should help to speed up the process of identifying environmental strains that belong to new actinobacterial species. This is important, as new species (biodiversity) provide access to new secondary metabolites (chemical diversity, e.g. new antibiotics).

Particular interests at present are the isolation of antibiotic-producing actinobacteria and all the genera in the family Streptosporangiaceae (Acrocarpospora, Herbidospora, Microbispora, Microtetraspora, Nonomuraea, Planobispora, Planomonospora, Planotetraspora, Sphaerimonospora, Sphaerisporangium, Streptosporangium, Thermoactinospora, Thermocatellispora and Thermopolyspora).

Selected Publications

Meyers, P. R. (2015) Analysis of recombinase A (recA/RecA) in the actinobacterial family Streptosporangiaceae and identification of molecular signatures. Systematic and Applied Microbiology; 38: 567-577.

Rohland, J. and Meyers, P. R. (2015) Streptomyces fractus sp. nov., a novel streptomycete isolated from the gut of a South African termite. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek; 107: 1127–1134.

Everest, G. J., Curtis, S. M., De Leo, F., Urzì, C. and Meyers, P. R. (2015) Description of Kribbella italica sp. nov., isolated from a Roman catacomb. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology; 65: 491–496.

Meyers, P. R. (2014) Gyrase subunit B amino acid signatures for the actinobacterial family Streptosporangiaceae. Systematic and Applied Microbiology; 37: 252–260.

Everest, G. J., Curtis, S. M., De Leo, F., Urzì, C. and Meyers, P. R. (2013) Kribbella albertanoniae sp. nov., isolated from a Roman catacomb, and emended description of the genus Kribbella. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology; 63: 3591–3596.

Everest, G. J. and Meyers, P. R. (2013) Micromonospora equina sp. nov., isolated from soil from a racecourse. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology; 63: 879-885.

Everest, G. J., Le Roes-Hill, M., Omorogie, C., Cheung, S.-K., Cook, A. E., Goodwin, C. M. and Meyers, P. R. (2013) Amycolatopsis umgeniensis sp. nov., isolated from soil from the banks of the Umgeni River in South Africa. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek; 103: 673-681.

Curtis, S. M. and Meyers, P. R. (2012) Multilocus sequence analysis of the actinobacterial genus Kribbella. Systematic and Applied Microbiology; 35: 441–446.

Everest, G. J., Cook, A. E., Kirby, B. M. and Meyers, P. R. (2011) Evaluation of the use of recN sequence analysis in the phylogeny of the genus Amycolatopsis. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek; 100: 483–496.

Everest, G. J., Cook, A. E., Le Roes-Hill, M. and Meyers, P. R. (2011) Nocardia rhamnosiphila sp. nov., isolated from soil. Systematic and Applied Microbiology; 34: 508– 512.

Everest, G. J. and Meyers, P. R. (2011) Evaluation of the antibiotic biosynthetic potential of the genus Amycolatopsis and description of Amycolatopsis circi sp. nov., Amycolatopsis equina sp. nov. and Amycolatopsis hippodromi sp. nov. Journal of Applied Microbiology; 111: 300–311.

Kirby, B. M. and Meyers, P. R. (2010) Micromonospora tulbaghiae sp. nov., isolated from the leaves of wild garlic, Tulbaghia violacea. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology; 60: 1328-1333.

Kirby, B. M., Everest, G. J. and Meyers, P. R. (2010) Phylogenetic analysis of the genus Kribbella based on the gyrB gene: proposal of a gyrB-sequence threshold for species delineation in the genus Kribbella. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek; 97:131–142.

Everest, G. J. and Meyers, P. R. (2009). The use of gyrB sequence analysis in the phylogeny of the genus Amycolatopsis. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek; 95: 1-11.

Le Roes-Hill, M. and Meyers, P. R. (2009) Streptomyces polyantibioticus sp. nov., isolated from the banks of a river. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology; 59: 1302-1309.

Le Roes-Hill, M., Rohland, J., Meyers, P. R., Cowan, D. A. & Burton, S. G. (2009) Streptomyces hypolithicus sp. nov., a novel streptomycete isolated from a hypolith community, Antarctica. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology; 59: 2032-2035.

Cook, A. E. and Meyers, P. R. (2003) Rapid identification of filamentous actinomycetes to the genus level using genus-specific 16S-rRNA gene restriction fragment patterns. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology; 53: 1907-1915.

Lab Members

James Pelser (M.Sc. student)
Linda Mtwana (Honours student)
Yamkela Qumbelo (Honours student)
Matthew Verbeek (Honours student)