Professor Fanus Venter


Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology

[email protected] 






Bacterial Diversity and Systematics 

Fanus Venter studied at the University of Pretoria and completed his MSc before joining the CSIR. As project leader linked to the Divisions of Watertek and later Environmentek his research focused on various aspects of water microbiology.

In 1991/92 he spent 12 months working as a visiting scientist at the Federal Institute of Nutrition, Karlsruhe, Germany, supported by a DAAD scholarship.

After his return from Germany his research focused on the occurrence, detection and management of water-borne human pathogens.

In 1997 he joined the University of Pretoria as a Lecturer, completed his PhD and established his current research programme focusing on bacterial diversity and systematics. Since 2010 he is the Head of the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology at the University of Pretoria. He has an NRF-rating of B3.


IRT-related research projects 

Fanus Venter is involved in a wide range of projects in the fields of bacterial taxonomy and evolution, comparative genomics and bacterial population genetics. His studies on phytobacteriology focus on the tree pathogen Pantoea and include its taxonomy, evolution and genomics. He continues his research on the metagenomics of aquatic environments, including studies of polluted surface water before and after solar disinfection (SODIS) treatment.  


Key Publications

Coutinho, TA, Venter, SN (2009) Pantoea ananatis: an unconventional plant pathogen. Molec Plant Pathol. 10: 325 – 335

De Maayer, P, Chan, WY, Venter, SN, Toth, IK, Birch, PRJ, Joubert, F, Coutinho, TA (2010)  The genome sequence of Pantoea ananatis LMG20103, the causative agent of Eucalyptus blight and dieback. J Bacteriol. 192: 2936-3937.


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