Research Microbiologist

Michael Jukes

Office: Lab 241, Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology

MSc, Microbiology, Rhodes University (2015)
PhD, Microbiology, Rhodes University (2018)

Michael Jukes is a researcher at the Centre for Biological Control, having completed his doctorate in microbiology in 2018. His research focuses on the discovery, evaluation and development of insect viruses for application against agricultural pests. This involves the isolation of insect viruses from agricultural insect pests, such as the Potato Tuber Moth and False Codling Moth, which can then be further developed into new biological pesticides or to further improve current control methods. Once a virus is isolated, it is identified using morphological and genetic techniques. A successfully isolated and identified virus undergoes laboratory testing to determine its efficacy against the target pest with highly virulent isolates undergoing further evaluation. The primary aim of Michael’s work is to further our collective understanding of viruses in the baculovirus family which will allow for the development of novel biopesticides and greater control of agricultural pests in South Africa.

Research Interests
  • Insect viruses
  • Microbiology
  • Biopesticides
  • Genetics
Recent Publications

Jukes, M.D., 2021. Reads in a haystack: extracting complete mitogenome sequences hidden in baculovirus datasets. Insect Molecular Biology, pp.1-11.

Onosi, O., Upfold, N.S., Jukes, M.D., Luke, G.A. and Knox, C., 2020. The First Detection of Human Bocavirus Species 2 and 3 in Raw Sewage and Mussels in South Africa. Food and Environmental Virology, 12(1), pp.84-88.

*Motsoeneng, B., *Jukes, M.D., Knox, C.M., Hill, M.P. and Moore, S.D., 2019. Genome Analysis of a Novel South African Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV-SA) with Resistance-Breaking Potential. Viruses, 11(7), p.658.

Onosi, O., Upfold, N.S., Jukes, M.D., Luke, G.A. and Knox, C., 2019. The first molecular detection of Aichi virus 1 in raw sewage and mussels collected in South Africa. Food and environmental virology, 11(1), pp.96-100.

Krejmer-Rabalska, M., Rabalski, L., Jukes, M.D., Lobo de Souza, M., Moore, S.D. and Szewczyk, B., 2019. New method for differentiation of granuloviruses (Betabaculoviruses) based on real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR). Viruses, 11(2), p.115.

Moore, S.D. and Jukes, M.D. 2019. Advances in microbial control in IPM: Entomopathogenic viruses. In: Integrated management of insect pests Current and future developments. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited, (1).

*Marsberg, T., *Jukes, M.D., Krejmer-Rabalska, M., Rabalski, L., Knox, C.M., Moore, S.D., Hill, M.P. and Szewczyk, B., 2018. Morphological, genetic, and biological characterisation of a novel alphabaculovirus isolated from Cryptophlebia peltastica (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Journal of invertebrate pathology, 157, pp.90-99.

*Van der Merwe, M., *Jukes, M.D., Rabalski, L., Knox, C., Opoku-Debrah, J.K., Moore, S.D., Krejmer-Rabalska, M., Szewczyk, B. and Hill, M.P., 2017. Genome analysis and genetic stability of the Cryptophlebia leucotreta Granulovirus (CrleGV-SA) after 15 years of commercial use as a biopesticide. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(11), p.2327.

Jukes, M.D., Rabalski, L., Knox, C.M., Hill, M.P., Moore, S.D. and Szewczyk, B., 2017. Baculovirus synergy: mixed Alphabaculovirus and Betabaculovirus infections for the control of Thaumatotibia leucotreta in South Africa. Proceedings of the 16th Meeting of the IOBC-WPRS Working Group: Microbial and Nematode Control of Invertebrate pests, Tbilisi, Georgia, 11-15 June 2017. vol. 129, pp 170-174.

Marsberg, T., Jukes, M., Chambers, C., Hendriks, C., Opoku-Debrah, J., Knox, C., Hill, M., Moore, S., 2017. The isolation of a novel alphabaculovirus and its potential for microbial control of key tortricid moth pests. Proceedings of the 16th Meeting of the IOBC-WPRS Working Group: Microbial and Nematode Control of Invertebrate pests, Tbilisi, Georgia, 11-15 June 2017. vol. 129, pp 175-178.

Jukes, M.D., Motsoeneng, B.M., Knox, C.M., Hill, M.P. and Moore, S.D., 2016. The comparative analysis of complete genome sequences from two South African betabaculoviruses: Phthorimaea operculella granulovirus and Plutella xylostella granulovirus. Archives of virology, 161(10), pp.2917-2920.

 *Equal authorship

Students Supervised

BSc Hons. Students:

Matthew Jackson. 2018. Optimisation of a Multiplex PCR Assay for the Rapid Screening of Cryptophlebia leucotreta Granulovirus-SA (CrleGV-SA) and Cryptophlebia peltastica Nucleopolyhedrovirus (CrpeNPV) for use in the Citrus Industry. (Completed)

Andisiwe Paliso. 2019. Development of a cell culture bioreactor system for mass production of Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus in a novel Thaumatotibia leucotreta cell line. (Completed)

Tahnee Bennett. 2019. Determining the natural occurrence of Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus (CrleGV) and the Cryptophlebia peltastica nucleopolyhedrovirus (CrpeNPV) in Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) larvae in citrus orchards. (Completed)

Thuthula Mela. 2019. Preparation of the development of an improved qPCR technique for the accurate quantification of baculoviruses. (Completed)

Nomaphelo Ntsoyi. 2021. Cloning and expression of CrpeNPV GP37 protein in a bacterial system. (Underway)

MSc Students:

David Taylor. 2020. Baculovirus synergism for improved management of false codling moth Thaumatotibia leucotreta Meyr. (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). (Completed)

Petrus Iita. 2020. Selection for improved virulence of Cryptophlebia peltastica nucleopolyhedrovirus (CrpeNPV) to false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta by serial passage through a heterologous host. (Completed)

Tahnee Bennett. 2021. Genetic analysis and field application of a UV resistant strain of CrleGV for improved control of Thaumatotibia leucotreta. (Underway)

Thuthula Mela. 2021. Establishing a rapid and accurate qPCR assay for the enumeration of betabaculoviruses for downstream applications. (Underway)

PhD Students:

Petrus Iita. 2023. An investigation into the biological and genetic stability of UV-tolerant baculoviruses for improved control of the false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick). (Underway)


Last Modified: Thu, 16 Sep 2021 14:21:16 SAST