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Mak-Okayama University Half Day "Microbio" Seminar

The JICA Building, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) as approached from the Mary Stuart Road Roundabout, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

The Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) is pleased to invite you to a half-day "Microbio" seminar featuring 3 local experts at Makerere University and a visiting scientist from Okayama University, Japan. You are all welcome especially staff and graduate students.

Please see Downloads for details on the speakers

Makerere University (through CoNAS and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, CAES) have an on-going 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Okayama University (through her Institute of Plant Sciences and Resources, IPSR) signed in November 2016.


DATE & TIME: Friday, 30th august 2019, 09:00am - 01:00pm

PLACE/VENUE: Botany-Zoology Lecture Theatre, CoNAS, Makerere University

HOSTED BY: Assoc. Prof. Arthur K. Tugume, Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology, CoNAS, Email: aktugume[at]cns.mak.ac.ug

MODERATOR: Assoc. Prof. Fredrick Muyodi, Deputy Principal, CoNAS, Makerere University


Lanthanide as a new life metal in microbiology. By: Assoc. Prof. Akio Tani, Institute of Plant Sciences and Resources (IPSR), Okayama University.

Transmission dynamics of African swine fever in an endemic setting at the livestock-wildlife interface. By: Assoc. Prof. Charles Masembe, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences, CoNAS, University.

Sustaining sweet potato productivity through exploiting reversion from sweet potato virus infections. By: Dr. Peter Wasswa, Deptartment Agricultural Production, CAES, University.

Overcoming Xanthomonas wilt and rehabilitation of banana plantations in East and Central Africa. By: Assoc. Prof. Arthur K. Tugume, Dept. of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology, CoNAS, Makerere University.


Lanthanides are also known as rare-earth elements (REEs; although the term REEs is now misleading). The discovery of lanthanide (Ln3+) dependence for catalytic activity of methanol dehydrogenases enzymes few years ago has overturned a long-standing dogma of the biological inertia of the so-called REEs but also created numerous conundrums and hard questions on the evolution of alternative enzymes and their potentially different redox properties. Lanthanides have been used by humans for biomedical and technology applications for long due to their special properties e.g., superiority in enzymatic catalysis; however, it turns out that bacteria employed lanthanides well before humans did. The surprise discovery of the biological activity of REEs was mostly a reflection of our ignorance. Assoc. Prof. Akio Tani addresses this subject with "Lanthanide as a new life metal in microbiology" under this seminar in the first part of the seminar.

The second theme is about a few studies of solving problems of infectious diseases of in livestock and crops. Three (3) case studies by leading scientists at University are presented. These include studies on:

(a) Whole genome sequencing to determine the molecular genetics and evolution of African swine fever virus at the livestock-wildlife interface in an endemic setting;

(b) How virus-infected sweet potato plants can naturally revert to virus-free status using own natural system, named 'reversion', and

(c) How lateral banana shoots may escape Xanthomonas wilt-causing bacteria, even though the mother plants have died of the same bacterial infection, a scenario that is resonant of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of certain viral infections in humans.

Downloads & Essential Attachments

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