Microbiology & Plant Pathology

Welcome to the University of Pretoria's Division of Microbiology. This Division forms part of the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology.

The discipline of microbiology offers a fantastic diversity of themes. The smallest microbes are viruses, followed by bacteria and fungi. Globally, these micro-organisms can be useful and essential in their natural locations, and can be studied and used in medicinal applications, for food production, water purification and in other industrial applications.



Microbiologists may explore such useful microorganisms and develop strategies to protect them and to expand their utility. However, other microorganisms can cause major health and agricultural problems. In this regard microbiologists often specialise to combat some of the serious infectious diseases of humans, domestic animals, wildlife and plants that are caused by such pathogenic micro-organisms. Microbiologists at the University of Pretoria often work on the molecular and cellular level, in designing new vaccines and anti-microbial strategies and developing ways to better detect and quickly identify microbes, discover new micro-organisms and to better understand the evolution, diversity and pathogenicity of microorganisms.

Students will study micro-organisms, mainly bacteria, viruses and fungi (moulds and yeasts) to enable them to understand the basic processes of life. Students will apply their knowledge (of taxonomy, metabolism and the molecular biology of microorganisms) in ecology for the preservation of the environment, food microbiology, industrial microbiology, biological control and genetic manipulation.

 Plant Pathology

Please refer to the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences website for Plant Pathology research and degree options.

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