Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) is widely considered as the reference method for the rapid and inexpensive identification of microorganisms in routine laboratories. This automatic technique is a reference method for identifying microorganisms such as bacteria, mycobacteria and fungi. Routine diagnostics is currently carried out by the UP diagnostics Platform. The division of Plant Pathology currently hosts the Bruker MALDI Biotyper and the MALDI Biotyper Sirius RUO platform, co-funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF).


How to submit a sample​:

Samples are accepted on week days from Monday to Friday, 09h00-16h00.

Samples should be labelled with a maximum of 4 characters including letters, commas and numbers (e.g. E1.1/ E2/ EF1 etc.) or alternatively numerically (e.g. if you have 10 samples you may label them 1 to 10). Labels should not include asterisks and exponential/scientific notation.

Before submitting your samples please make sure:

  1. Your pellet is visible
  2. Your colony is pure, with absolutely no contamination
  3. Your colony is fresh (24 hours old or less upon preparation)
  4. Your pellet is absolutely free from media/agar particles
  5. And the correct method of preparation is carried out

This may assist in minimizing the chances of a "poor identification", "No Organism Identification Possible" or a "no identification (No peaks found)" result.

Please contact us when you are ready to submit a sample; you will be sent a:

  1. Quotation to be acknowledged
  2. Sample Submission form to be completed before sending samples
  3. MALDI-TOF information pamphlet

Once we have received a signed quotation you will be sent an invoice for payment. Samples can then be shipped. We would like to request that samples be shipped in an upright position to prevent spillage, which may lead to sample loss and ethanol removing the sample label.

Note that no reports will be issued until proof of payment has been received. 


The shipping address and contact details for samples is:

Zama Zulu

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Room 2-16, Level 2, Agricultural Science Building

University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20

Hatfield 0028, South Africa


Office: 012 420 4588

Mobile: 084 364 1306

Email: [email protected]


The NRF and DSI logos according to the current branding policy should appear on all reports, presentations, publications and webpages that arise from any material using data generated from the MALDI-TOF biotyper.

- Author : Zama Zulu

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