Dr Sofie De Meyer
MSc. PhD

Post doctoral fellow

About me

After completing my Master of Science degree in Biology (speciality Botany) at Ghent University (Belgium) in 2007, I commenced a PhD study in the Laboratory of Microbiology at Ghent University, investigating the bacterial diversity in Belgium legume root nodules. I completed my PhD in 2011 and took up a Postdoctoral research position at the Centre for Rhizobium Studies in 2012. Pursuing international collaboration and expanding my rhizobia expertise, I took up a Postdoctoral research position at the Botany department of the University of Cape Town (South Africa) in 2013.

My research focuses on the identification and characterisation of root nodule bacteria associated with legume plants. The family of leguminous plants is one of the major plant families in the world and the symbiosis between these plants and rhizobia, is well known since the 19th century. The plant supplies nutrition and a safe shelter for the bacteria. In return the bacteria fix nitrogen and deliver this to the plant, enabling it to grow in nitrogen-limited conditions. My latest research focuses on the implementation of Lebeckia species as perennial pasture plants in Australian agriculture. These plants associate with Burkholderia bacteria, of which several novel species have been described and two promising strains for potential inocula production have been found.

Current projects

* 2016 – 2019: Turning sand into sheep feed – Lebeckia ambigua an agricultural perennial! – ARC Linkage project LP150100848 – Chief Investigator: Prof John Howieson (J.Howieson@murdoch.edu.au)

Nitrogen fixation from legumes is worth $3 billion to the Australian agricultural economy, but changing rainfall patterns threatens much of this. One solution is to transition pasture growth to a reliance on perennial plants, which are less affected by unseasonal rain. Lebeckia ambigua is an outstanding perennial legume to begin this change, but its nitrogen fixation is severely compromised by nodulation failure, caused by death of its symbiotic rhizobia. This research will focus on improving the survival in acid and infertile soils of the unique rhizobial symbionts we have discovered for Lebeckia ambigua in South Africa. If we succeed we can build an agriculture based upon legumes adapted to our future climate.

* 2013 – 2017: Investigating pasture legumes in the mixed farming zones of WA and NSW. – Meat and Livestock Australia/Australian Wool Innovation Project B.PSP.0013 – Chief Investigator: Prof John Howieson (J.Howieson@murdoch.edu.au)

This research aims to increase the productivity of annual pastures in mixed farming systems (primarily in NSW and WA) through the ease and reliability of establishment of several newer, more productive legume species and cultivars, and through developing grazing strategies that optimise the persistence and benefits of thees newer legumes.

Awards and grants

Events and speaking engagements

Conference presentations

  • De Meyer SE, Ziegler D, Hackney B, Pflüger V, Vogel G and Howieson J. A new tool for direct identification of rhizobia strains in nodules: A sub-clover case study. 19th International congress on Nitrogen fixation California (USA), Oct. 2015
  • De Meyer SE, Ivanova N, Kyrpides N and Reeve W. Genomic Encyclopedia for Bacteria and Archaea-Root Nodule Bacteria (GEBA-RNB). 14th European Nitrogen Fixation Conference, genomics satellite meeting presentation. Tenerife (Spain), Sept. 2014

Science communication and outreach

Farmer field days

Doctoral and masters supervisions

I have supervised 3 Master students and I am currently supervising one Master student.

  • Supervision of Bram Veckeman (2009) Master dissertation: Diversity of rhizobia associated with legumes from the area around Brakel (Belgium): a molecular inventory
  • Supervision of Tamara Braeckman (2010) Master dissertation: Genetic characterisation of rhizobia associated with indigenous legumes in the province of Antwerp (Belgium)
  • Supervision of Jolien Vermeulen (2011) Master dissertation: Characterisation of rhizobia associated with indigenous legumes in Flanders (Belgium)
  • Supervision of Ntwai Abram Moiloa (2013) Master dissertation: Is Wiborgia (Fabaceae) biogeography determined by available soil rhizobia in the Greater Cape Floristic Region?

Publications

Chapters

  • Reeve, W., Tiwari, R., Melino, V., De Meyer, S., (2016),Specialised genetic techniques for rhizobia,In: Working with rhizobia, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), pages 245 to 282.

Journals

  • De Meyer, S., Briscoe, L., Martinez-Hidalgo, P., Agapakis, C., de-los Santos, P., Seshadri, R., Reeve, W., Weinstock, G., O'Hara, G., Howieson, J., Hirsch, A., (2016), Symbiotic burkholderia species show diverse arrangements of nif/fix and nod genes and lack typical High-Affinity cytochrome cbb3 Oxidase genes, Molecular Plant - Microbe Interactions, 29, 8, pages 609 - 619.
  • De Meyer, S., Tian, R., Seshadri, R., Reddy, T., Markowitz, V., Ivanova, N., Pati, A., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., Yates, R., Howieson, J., Reeve, W., (2016), High-quality permanent draft genome sequence of the Lebeckia ambigua nodulating Burkholderia sp. strain WSM4176, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 10, 1, pages DOI: 10.1186/s40793-015-0072-3 -.
  • De Meyer, S., Wee Tan, H., Andrews, M., Heenan, P., Willems, A., (2016), Mesorhizobium calcicola sp. nov., Mesorhizobium waitakense sp. nov., Mesorhizobium sophorae sp. nov., Mesorhizobium newzealandense sp. nov. and Mesorhizobium kowhaii sp. nov. isolated from Sophora root nodules, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 66, 2, pages 786 - 795.
  • De Meyer, S., Parker, M., Van Berkum, P., Tian, R., Seshadri, R., Reddy, T., Markowitz, V., Ivanova, N., Pati, A., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., Howieson, J., Reeve, W., (2016), High-quality permanent draft genome sequence of the Mimosa asperata - nodulating Cupriavidus sp. strain AMP6, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 10, 1, pages DOI: 10.1186/s40793-015-0074-1 -.
  • De Meyer, S., Tian, R., Seshadri, R., Ivanova, N., Pati, A., Markowitz, V., Woyke, T., Yates, R., Howieson, J., Kyrpides, N., Reeve, W., (2016), High-quality permanent draft genome sequence of the Lebeckia nodulating Burkholderia dilworthii strain WSM3556T, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 10, doi: 10.1186/s40793-015-0048-3, pages -.
  • Sheu, S., Chen, M., Liu, W., Andrews, M., James, E., Ardley, J., De Meyer, S., James, T., Howieson, J., Coutinho, B., Chen, W., (2015), Burkholderia dipogonis sp. nov., isolated from root nodules of Dipogon lignosus in New Zealand and Western Australia, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 65, 12, pages 4716 - 4723.
  • De Meyer, S., Fabiano, E., Tian, R., Berkum, P., Seshadri, R., Markowitz, V., Ivanova, N., Pati, A., Woyke, T., Howieson, J., Kyrpides, N., Reeve, W., (2015), High-quality permanent draft genome sequence of the Parapiptadenia rigida-nodulating Cupriavidus sp. strain UYPR2.512, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 10, 13, pages -.
  • De Meyer, S., De Beuf, K., Vekeman, B., Willems, A., (2015), A large diversity of non-rhizobial endophytes found in legume root nodules in Flanders (Belgium), Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 83, , pages 1 - 11.
  • De Meyer, S., Fabiano, E., Tian, R., Van Berkum, P., Seshadri, R., Reddy, T., Markowitz, V., Ivanova, N., Pati, A., Woyke, T., Howieson, J., Kyrpides, N., Reeve, W., (2015), High-quality permanent draft genome sequence of the Parapiptadenia rigida-nodulating Burkholderia sp. strain UYPR1.413, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 10, 1, pages 1 - 8.
  • Eshraghi, L., De Meyer, S., Tian, R., Seshadri, R., Ivanova, N., Pati, A., Markowitz, V., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., Tiwari, R., Yates, R., Howieson, J., Reeve, W., (2015), High-quality permanent draft genome sequence of Bradyrhizobium sp. strain WSM1743 an effective microsymbiont of an Indigofera sp. growing in Australia, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 10, 87, pages 1 - 8.
  • De Meyer, S., Wee Tan, H., Heenan, P., Andrews, M., Willems, A., (2015), Mesorhizobium waimense sp. nov. isolated from Sophora longicarinata root nodules and Mesorhizobium cantuariense sp. nov. isolated from Sophora microphylla root nodules, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 65, 10, pages 3419 - 3426.
  • Yates, R., Howieson, J., De Meyer, S., Tian, R., Seshadri, R., Pati, A., Woyke, T., Markowitz, V., Ivanova, N., Kyrpides, N., Loi, A., Nutt, B., Garau, G., Sulas, L., Reeve, W., (2015), High-quality permanent draft genome sequence of Rhizobium sullae strain WSM1592; a Hedysarum coronarium microsymbiont from Sassari, Italy, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 10, 7, pages 1 - 6.
  • Wee Tan, H., Heenan, P., De Meyer, S., Willems, A., Andrews, M., (2015), Diverse novel mesorhizobia nodulate New Zealand native Sophora species, Systematic and Applied Microbiology, 38, 2, pages 91 - 98.
  • Ziegler, D., Pothier, J., Ardley, J., Fossou, R., Pfluger, V., De Meyer, S., Vogel, G., Tonolla, M., Howieson, J., Reeve, W., Perret, X., (2015), Ribosomal protein biomarkers provide root nodule bacterial identification by MALDI-TOF MS, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 99, 13, pages 5547 - 5562.
  • Mazur, A., De Meyer, S., Tian, R., Wielbo, J., Zerbracki, K., Seshadri, R., Reddy, T., Markowitz, V., Ivanova, N., Pati, A., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., Reeve, W., (2015), High-quality permanent draft genome sequence of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae strain GB30; an effective microsymbiont of Pisum sativum growing in Poland, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 10, 7, pages 1 - 7.
  • da Silva, K., De Meyer, S., Rouws, L., Farias, E., dos Santos, M., O'Hara, G., Ardley, J., Willems, A., Pitard, R., Zilli, J., (2014), Bradyrhizobium ingae sp. nov., isolated from effective nodules of Inga laurina grown in Cerrado soil, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 64, , pages 3395 - 3401.
  • Reeve, W., Ardley, J., Tian, R., De Meyer, S., Terpolilli, J., Melino, V., Tiwari, R., Yates, R., O'Hara, G., Howieson, J., Ninawi, M., Zhang, X., Bruce, D., Detter, C., Tapia, R., Han, C., Wei, C., Huntemann, M., Han, J., Chen, I., Mavromatis, K., Markowitz, V., Szeto, E., Ivanova, N., Pagani, I., Pati, A., Goodwin, L., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., (2014), Genome sequence of the Listia angolensis microsymbiont Microvirga lotononidis strain WSM3557T, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, , pages 540 - 550.
  • De Meyer, S., Cnockaert, M., Ardley, J., van Wyk, B., Vandamme, P., Howieson, J., (2014), Burkholderia dilworthii sp. nov., isolated from Lebeckia ambigua root nodules, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 64, PART 4, pages 1090 - 1095.
  • Zilli, J., Barauna, A., da Silva, K., De Meyer, S., Farias, E., Kaminski, P., da Costa, I., Ardley, J., Willems, A., Camacho, N., Dourado, F., O'Hara, G., (2014), Bradyrhizobium neotropicale sp. nov., isolated from effective nodules of Centrolobium paraense, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 64, 12, pages 3950 - 3957.
  • Silva, F., De Meyer, S., Simoes-Araujo, J., Barbe, T., Xavier, G., O'Hara, G., Ardley, J., Rumjanek, N., Willems, A., Zilli, J., (2014), Bradyrhizobium manausense sp. nov., isolated from effective nodules of Vigna unguiculata grown in Brazilian Amazonian rainforest soils, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 64, 7, pages 2358 - 2363.
  • Howieson, J., De Meyer, S., Vivas Marfisi, A., Ratnayake, S., Ardley, J., Yates, R., (2013), Novel Burkholderia bacteria isolated from Lebeckia ambigua - a perennial suffrutescent legume of the fynbos, Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 60, , pages 55 - 64.
  • Reeve, W., De Meyer, S., Terpolilli, J., Melino, V., Ardley, J., Tian, R., Tiwari, R., Howieson, J., Yates, R., O'Hara, G., Ninawi, M., Lu, M., Bruce, D., Detter, C., Tapia, R., Han, C., Wei, C., Huntemann, M., Han, J., Chen, I., Mavromatis, K., Markowitz, V., Ivanova, N., Pagani, I., Pati, A., Goodwin, L., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., (2013), Genome sequence of the Ornithopus/Lupinus-nodulating Bradyrhizobium sp. strain WSM471, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, , pages 254 - 263.
  • Reeve, W., Drew, E., Ballard, R., Melino, V., Tian, R., De Meyer, S., Brau, L., Ninawi, M., Teshima, H., Goodwin, L., Chain, P., Liolios, K., Pati, A., Mavromatis, K., Ivanova, N., Markowitz, V., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., (2013), Genome sequence of the clover-nodulating Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii strain SRDI565, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, , pages 220 - 231.
  • De Meyer, S., Cnockaert, M., Ardley, J., Maker, G., Yates, R., Howieson, J., Vandamme, P., (2013), Burkholderia sprentiae sp. nov., isolated from Lebeckia ambigua root nodules, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 63, 11, pages 3950 - 3957.
  • De Meyer, S., Cnockaert, M., Ardley, J., Trengove, R., Garau, G., Howieson, J., Vandamme, P., (2013), Burkholderia rhynchosiae sp. nov., isolated from Rhynchosia ferulifolia root nodules, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 63, , pages 3944 - 3949.
  • Reeve, W., Drew, E., Ballard, R., Melino, V., Tian, R., De Meyer, S., Brau, L., Ninawi, M., Daligault, H., Davenport, K., Erkkila, T., Goodwin, L., Gu, W., Munk, C., Teshima, H., Xu, Y., Chain, P., Kyrpides, N., (2013), Genome sequence of the clover-nodulating Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii strain SRDI943, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, , pages 232 - 242.
  • Reeve, W., Tian, R., De Meyer, S., Melino, V., Terpolilli, J., Ardley, J., Tiwari, R., Howieson, J., Yates, R., O'Hara, G., Ninawi, M., Teshima, H., Bruce, D., Detter, C., Tapia, R., Han, C., Wei, C., Huntemann, M., Han, J., Chen, I., Mavromatis, K., Markowitz, V., Ivanova, N., Ovchinnikova, G., Pagani, I., Pati, A., Goodwin, L., Pitluck, S., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., (2013), Genome sequence of the clover-nodulating Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii strain TA1, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, , pages 243 - 253.
  • Reeve, W., Terpolilli, J., Melino, V., Ardley, J., Tian, R., De Meyer, S., Tiwari, R., Yates, R., O'Hara, G., Howieson, J., Ninawi, M., Held, B., Bruce, D., Detter, C., Tapia, R., Han, C., Wei, C., Huntemann, M., Han, J., Chen, I., Mavromatis, K., Markowitz, V., Ivanova, N., Ovchinnikova, G., Pagani, I., Pati, A., Goodwin, L., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., (2013), Genome sequence of the South American clover-nodulating Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii strain WSM597, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, 2, pages 264 - 272.
  • Reeve, W., Terpolilli, J., Melino, V., Ardley, J., Tian, R., De Meyer, S., Tiwari, R., Yates, R., O'Hara, G., Howieson, J., Ninawi, M., Teshima, H., Bruce, D., Detter, C., Tapia, R., Han, C., Wei, C., Huntemann, M., Han, J., Chen, I., Mavrommatis, K., Markowitz, V., Ivanova, N., Ovchinnikova, G., Pagani, I., Pati, A., Goodwin, L., Peters, L., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., (2013), Genome sequence of the lupin-nodulating Bradyrhizobium sp. strain WSM1417, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, 2, pages 273 - 282.
  • Reeve, W., De Meyer, S., Terpolilli, J., Melino, V., Ardley, J., Tian, R., Tiwari, R., Howieson, J., Yates, R., O'Hara, G., Lu, M., Bruce, D., Detter, C., Tapia, R., Han, C., Wei, C., Huntemann, M., Han, J., Chen, I., Mavromatis, K., Markowitz, V., Szeto, E., Ivanova, N., Mikhailova, N., Ovchinnikova, G., Pagani, I., Pati, A., Goodwin, L., Peters, L., Pitluck, S., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., (2013), Genome sequence of the Lebeckia ambigua-nodulating Burkholderia sprentiae strain WSM5005T, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, 2, pages 385 - 394.
  • Reeve, W., Melino, V., Ardley, J., Tian, R., De Meyer, S., Terpolilli, J., Tiwari, R., Yates, R., O'Hara, G., Howieson, J., Ninawi, M., Held, B., Bruce, D., Detter, C., Tapia, R., Han, C., Wei, C., Huntemann, M., Han, J., Chen, I., Mavromatis, K., Markowitz, V., Szeto, E., Ivanova, N., Mikhailova, N., Pagani, I., Pati, A., Goodwin, L., Woyke, T., Kyrpides, N., (2013), Genome sequence of the Trifolium rueppellianum -nodulating Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii strain WSM2012, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 9, 2, pages 283 - 293.
  • Olivera Stajkovic-Srbinovic, Sofie E. De Meyer, Bogic Milicic, Dusica Delic and Anne Willems. (2009). Isolation and characterization of endophytic non-rhizobial bacteria from root nodules of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Botanica Serbica 33 (1), 107-114
  • Sofie E. De Meyer, Koenraad Van Hoorde, Bram Vekeman, Tamara Braeckman and Anne Willems. (2011) Genetic diversity of rhizobia associated with indigenous legumes in different regions of Flanders (Belgium). Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43, 2384-2396.
  • Sofie E. De Meyer and Anne Willems. (2012) Multilocus sequence analysis of Bosea species and the description of Bosea lupini sp. nov., Bosea lathyri sp. nov., and Bosea robiniae sp. nov. isolated from indigenous legumes in Flanders (Belgium). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 62, 2505–2510.
  • Sofie E. De Meyer, An Coorevits and Anne Willems. (2012) Tardiphaga robiniae gen. nov., sp. nov., a new genus in the family Bradyrhizobiaceae isolated from Robinia pseudoacacia in Flanders (Belgium). Systematic and Applied Microbiology 35, 205 – 214
  • Julie. K. Ardley, Matthew A. Parker, Sofie E. De Meyer, Graham W. O’Hara, Wayne G. Reeve, Ron J. Yates, Michael J. Dilworth, Anne Willems and  John G. Howieson. (2012) Microvirga lupini sp. nov., Microvirga lotononidis sp. nov., and Microvirga zambiensis sp. nov. are Alphaproteobacterial root nodule bacteria that specifically nodulate and fix nitrogen with geographically and taxonomically separate legume hosts. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 62, 2579-2588
  • Joanna Puławska, Anne Willems, Sofie E. De Meyer and Sandor Süle. (2012) Rhizobium nepotum sp. nov. isolated from tumors on different plant species. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 35, 215 – 220
  • Olivera Stajkovic-Srbinovic, Sofie E. De Meyer, Bogic Milicic, Dusica Delic and Anne Willems. (2012). Genetic diversity of rhizobia associated with alfalfa in Serbian soils. Biology and Fertility of Soils 48 (5), 531-545
  • John G. Howieson, Sofie E. De Meyer, Anabel Vivas-Marfisi, Sunil Ratnayake, Julie K. Ardley and Ron J. Yates. (2013) Novel Burkholderia bacteria isolated from Lebeckia ambigua – a perennial suffrutescent legume of the fynbos. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 60, 55-64
  • Sofie E. De Meyer, Margo Cnockaert, Julie K. Ardley, Robert D. Trengove, Giovanni Garau, John G. Howieson and Peter Vandamme. (2013)  Burkholderia rhynchosiae sp. nov. isolated from Rhynchosia ferulifolia root nodules from South Africa. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (In press, doi:10.1099/ijs.0.048751-0)
  • Sofie E. De Meyer, Margo Cnockaert, Julie K. Ardley, Garth Maker, Ron Yates, John G. Howieson and Peter Vandamme. (2013) Burkholderia sprentiae sp. nov. isolated from Lebeckia ambigua root nodules from South Africa. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (In press, doi:10.1099/ijs.0.048777-0)