Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Science]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0038-235320190006&lang=pt vol. 115 num. 11-12 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Academic integrity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt <![CDATA[<b>Commentary on the 2019 Quality Promotion Conference organised by the Council on Higher Education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt <![CDATA[<b>Examination cheating: Risks to the quality and integrity of higher education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt We examine the exigencies and impact of examination cheating, focusing specifically on the prevalence and risk of cheating taking place in examination venues. We document the problem with global coverage and note the consistency of the scourge and highlight the different approaches of institutions to dealing with the risk. Stressing the prejudice arising from examination cheating to both universities specifically and society generally, one of the root causes of the risk, namely the moral compass and ethical norms of university students and the societies in which they function, is discussed. The innovation of students when working out cheating practices and the facilitating effects of technology are considered as a backdrop to exemplars of good practices that have been implemented to mitigate the reality and risk of examination fraud. Recognising examination cheating as a fraud on society and a critical risk to university reputation, we question whether university leadership recognises the risk and gives it adequate (and responsible) emphasis in strategic and operational organisational risk identification and management.SIGNIFICANCE: •Cheating in examinations, and especially in the examination venue, is a global scourge. A comparison of global good practices is presented which provides a framework for institutional discussion to begin to address and transparently deal with the issues and impact of examination cheating. •Acknowledging technology as one of the significant enablers of examination fraud and noting the constraints confronting universities, there is nevertheless a critical need for institutions to mitigate the risk. In not doing so, universities, which are fundamentally supported by the fiscus and public taxpayers, are committing a fraud on society. •The attitude of some students and academic staff, as well as public perceptions to examination cheating raise the lid on a moral decay that is beginning to manifest in society globally. •Universities are challenged to address the issue of examination cheating proactively, openly and honestly. The repercussions of failing to do so are highlighted and exemplars are provided of what can and has already been tried and tested to mitigate the risks <![CDATA[<b>Assessment, plagiarism and its effect on academic integrity: Experiences of academics at a university in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is compromised by the growing problem of academic dishonesty, especially in large class sizes as a result of the 'massification' of education. In South Africa and around the world, student plagiarism and cheating has become a matter of concern, especially when it comes to teaching large classes. This concern has received much attention as it impacts negatively on the maintenance of academic standards and integrity at many universities. Academics have a major role to play in the process of maintaining academic integrity. Through an 'interpretivist' and qualitative approach, we explored the experiences of three emerging academics within the Discipline of Curriculum Studies at a university in South Africa. We used Pinar's method of currere as a lens that focuses on academics' experiences of assessment and plagiarism in teaching large classes and its effect on academic integrity. The findings suggest that although 'massification' of education in South Africa is commended for addressing past social injustices and for facilitating accessibility to education, quality teaching and learning including assessment is seriously compromised. This demands a serious rethink of assessment strategies to deter academic dishonesty, and a reconsideration of the way academics and institutions think about plagiarism detection tools in teaching large classes.SIGNIFICANCE: •Understanding academics' experiences of assessment and addressing the growing problem of plagiarism can contribute significantly to efforts towards improving teaching and assessment practices in large classes, and to upholding academic honesty within higher education institutions in South Africa. •A rethink of effective assessment strategies is needed to provide a worthwhile quality educational experience. In the context of this study, ethics within the teacher education curriculum should be prioritised <![CDATA[<b>Exploring the prevalence of the sexually transmitted marks phenomenon in higher education institutions</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Countries steadfastly pursue academia as a necessary step towards socio-economic development, which places a mandate on institutions of higher learning to stir host-country economies through university deliverables. In Zimbabwe, this entails the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development's 'doctrine' spelling out the philosophy of 'Education 5.0' which emphasises teaching/learning, research, community engagement, innovation, and commercialisation of goods and services. However, academic dishonesty, such as that through 'sexually transmitted marks' (STM), threatens the realisation of such mandates. Although the norm is that such sexual transactions are initiated by academics, evidence shows students also initiate such relationships. Consequently, efforts to eliminate this threat to academic integrity should not only focus on lecturers, but also be extended to students. This paper contributes towards unmasking experiences of STM between male lecturers and female students, female lecturers and male students, and female students and male students, as determined from former university students and university alumni in Bulawayo. Exposing these practices allows for open consultation and adoption of good practices from similar institutions worldwide.SIGNIFICANCE: •The majority of respondents all attested to having experienced STM directly or indirectly during their years of study. •An explicit STM regulation policy targeting all actors across universities is needed <![CDATA[<b>Quality assurance agencies: Creating a conducive environment for academic integrity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>Discovery and significance of komatiite: 50th Anniversary</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>Suspense and discovery with Pint of Science</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>Introducing bud bank and below-ground plant organ research to South Africa: Report on a workshop and the way forward</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>Southern crossings: Thinking inside/outside the hegemon</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>Engaging with the challenges of social science research methods</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>Local intellectual labour has a global effect</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>Educating scientists in South Africa in the 21st century</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>The need for improved ethics guidelines in a changing research landscape</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600014&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>Statement On Ethical Research And Scholarly Publishing Practices</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600015&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>Research ethics and integrity challenges require innovative approaches</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600016&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>NRF: Putting the 'Statement on Ethical Research and Scholarly Publishing Practices' into practice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600017&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>USAf: Putting the 'Statement on Ethical Research and Scholarly Publishing Practices' into practice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600018&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>DHET: Putting the 'Statement on Ethical Research and Scholarly Publishing Practices' into practice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600019&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Academic integrity is a key measure of the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of higher education systems. This article explores how a quality assurance agency can foster a conducive environment for academic quality and integrity. A self-study methodology was used, with a focus on the insights and experiences of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education over a 10-year period. The findings show that by assuming an innovative and transformational leadership role in instilling a culture of self-evaluation, as well as maintaining its own integrity, an external quality assurance agency can improve academic integrity. The article adds value to the existing knowledge by advancing the higher education ecosystem approach as an integrity-based panacea and conducive way to induce integrity to flow from all players as opposed to the use of heavy-handed regulatory approaches.SIGNIFICANCE: •This article highlights the importance of academic integrity and situates quality assurance agencies as playing a central role in fostering academic integrity <![CDATA[<b>ASSAf: Putting the 'Statement on Ethical Research and Scholarly Publishing Practices' into practice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600020&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Following a Workshop on the Ethics of Scholarly Publishing on 11 April 2018, and with the collective goal of advancing research integrity in South Africa, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the Council for Higher Education (CHE), the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and Universities South Africa (USAf) signed the joint Statement on Ethical Research and Scholarly Publishing Practices in Pretoria on 31 July 2019. The signatories were invited by the South African Journal of Science to outline to the South African research community how they individually and collectively will be 'putting the Statement into practice'. <![CDATA[<b>CHE</b>: <b>Putting the 'Statement on Ethical Research and Scholarly Publishing Practices' into practice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600021&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Following a Workshop on the Ethics of Scholarly Publishing on 11 April 2018, and with the collective goal of advancing research integrity in South Africa, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the Council for Higher Education (CHE), the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and Universities South Africa (USAf) signed the joint Statement on Ethical Research and Scholarly Publishing Practices in Pretoria on 31 July 2019. The signatories were invited by the South African Journal of Science to outline to the South African research community how they individually and collectively will be 'putting the Statement into practice'. <![CDATA[<b>Antibiotic sensitivity of bacteria isolated from the oral cavities of live white sharks (<i>Carcharodon carcharias</i>) in South African waters</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600022&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is responsible for 49% of shark-related injuries in South Africa, yet no information currently exists on the composition or antibiotic resistance of bacteria hosted by these apex predators in South African waters. This study aimed to address this gap by sampling the bacteria present in the oral cavities of 28 live C. carcharias along South Africa's southern coastline. The antibiotic resistance of the range of microbiota was also assessed using antibiotic disc diffusion tests. A total of 51 strains from at least 20 species of bacteria were isolated from the oral cavities of C. carcharias. Of these strains, the most common bacteria present were Serratia spp., Proteus vulgaris and Vibrio alginolyticus. The overall antibiotic resistance was relatively higher in this study than that reported for bacterial microbiota sampled from other shark species. Results indicate that the combination therapy of imipenem (carbapenem antibiotic) and vancomycin (glycopeptide antibiotic) might be the most parsimonious option to effectively treat infections resulting from white shark bites, particularly in South Africa. It is hoped that, in addition to assisting medical professionals to treat shark bite victims, these findings enhance the understanding of the microbial communities present in large coastal predators and their surrounding environments.SIGNIFICANCE: •Overall antibiotic resistance of bacteria in the oral cavities of C. carcharias was relatively high. •Combination therapy of imipenem (carbapenem antibiotic) and vancomycin (glycopeptide antibiotic) is recommended for the treatment of white shark bites, particularly in South Africa. •The findings add to understanding of the microbial communities present in large coastal predators and their surrounding environments <![CDATA[<b>Antimicrobial activity and toxicity profile of selected southern African medicinal plants against neglected gut pathogens</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600023&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Anaerobes outnumber aerobic bacteria in the human gut. The most commonly isolated microorganisms in intra-abdominal infections include Escherichia coli, Peptostreptococcus micros as well as Bacteroides and Clostridium species. Several studies have been undertaken on southern African medicinal plant species and their antimicrobial efficacy against pathogens such as E. coli that cause stomach ailments. However, pathogens such as Helicobacter pylori, Fusobacterium varium as well as others have been neglected in medicinal plant antimicrobial research. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of selected medicinal plants documented for stomach ailments against neglected gut pathogens. A total of 102 aqueous and organic extracts were prepared from 40 different plant species. These plant samples were screened for antimicrobial efficacy against eight anaerobes and two microaerophilic strains using the micro-dilution antimicrobial assay. Plant extracts that displayed noteworthy antimicrobial activity against Clostridium perfringens were further evaluated for antibiofilm activity using the crystal violet staining assay. The toxicity profiles of plants that displayed noteworthy antimicrobial activity were evaluated using the brine shrimp lethality assay which revealed that most of the tested plant samples were non-toxic in nature, and the aqueous extracts proved to be safer. The organic extract of Lippia javanica leaf showed the best antimicrobial activity with a minimum inhibitory concentration of 0.5 µg/mL against C. perfringens. The organic extract of Salvia africana-caerulea displayed the best antibiofilm activity overall, at cell attachment (4 h) biofilm developmental stage with inhibition percentages of 82.8%.SIGNIFICANCE: •L. javanica and Gunnera perpensa demonstrated the highest antimicrobial activity with minimum inhibitory concentrations of 0.5 μg/mL and 2.0 μg/mL against C. perfringens, respectively. •Salvia africana-caerulea was the most effective plant species demonstrating biofilm attachment. •Lowest toxic effects were observed for the organic extracts of Aloe marlothii, A. tenuior, Bridelia cathartica, G. perpensa leaf and the aqueous extracts of G. perpensa (leaf and rhizome). •This study demonstrates, for the first time, both antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities for most of these plant species against neglected anaerobes. •Noteworthy antimicrobial activities in many cases validate traditional use and safety <![CDATA[<b>Bacteria and yeast isolation and characterisation from a South African fermented beverage</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600024&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Spontaneous fermentation of motoho, a southern African non-alcoholic sorghum beverage, results in products with inconsistent microbiological and sensory quality. We aimed to identify the microorganisms involved in the fermentation of motoho by using culture-dependent techniques as well as culture-independent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight analysis (MALDI-TOF). Lactobacillus, Candida, Rhodotorula and Geotrichum species were identified. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) was used to evaluate the protein profiles of the isolated Lactobacillus species which produced protein bands of 14 kDa to 160 kDa, similar to those of other lactic acid bacteria isolated from various foods. A sensory panel evaluated and found significant differences (p<0.05) between the mouth feel, aroma and flavour of the traditional and modified motoho, with the latter being preferred. The microorganisms identified in this study could be used as starter cultures to optimise upscaled production of motoho.SIGNIFICANCE: •Traditionally fermented products have variable quality and the microorganisms isolated in this study could be used to decrease the variability in this fermented sorghum beverage <![CDATA[<b>Identification of lactic acid bacteria and determination of selected biochemical properties in <i>emasi </i>and <i>emahewu</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600025&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Fermented foods are produced at household level for personal consumption in the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). In this study, we determined the biochemical aspects, enumeration, isolation and identification of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in emasi and emahewu - two Swazi traditional fermented foods. Emasi had an average pH of 4.68, titratable acidity of 0.9% and LAB count of 8.25 log CFU/mL. Emahewu had a pH of 3.62, titratable acidity of 0.4% and LAB count of 8.10 log CFU/mL. The LAB counts were consistent with observations for similar African fermented foods. The LAB from emasi and emahewu were identified through Gram stain, catalase reaction, sugar assimilation tests using API 50 CH test strips, and sequencing of 16S rDNA. It was found (from nine isolates) that Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides were the common strains in emasi. Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei and Lactobacillus brevis were also detected. Lb. plantarum, L. mesenteroides ssp. mesenteroides, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lb. brevis, Wessella confusa, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lb. lactis were found in emahewu (from 16 isolates). This finding was consistent with LAB found in a South African fermented milk, in which common genera were Leuconostoc, Lactococcus and Lactobacillus. Strains found in emahewu - mainly Lactobacillus spp., Weissella and Enterococcus - are similar to those found in ting, a South African fermented non-alcoholic beverage.SIGNIFICANCE: •This study provides the first documentation of microbial and biochemical aspects of the Swazi traditional fermented foods, emasi and emahewu. <![CDATA[<b>Poultry and cattle manure effects on sunflower performance, grain yield and selected soil properties in Limpopo Province, South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600026&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The application of organic manures as alternatives to reduce the use of mineral fertilisers is considered a good agricultural practice for smallholder farmers. However, the effect of organic manure on soil properties and crop yield depends upon its application rate and its chemical composition. A field experiment was carried out during the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 seasons at the University of Venda experimental farm (Limpopo Province, South Africa) to determine the effect of three organic manures (cattle, poultry and their 1:1 combination, 20 t/ha) on sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) performance, grain yield and selected soil properties under rainfed conditions. Poultry manure produced the highest final infiltration rate and cumulative infiltration followed by cattle manure, their combination and the control in that order. Total nitrogen, calcium, and zinc were significantly different between treatments in the first season while potassium, sodium, and zinc were significantly different in the second season. Manure combination and poultry manure produced the highest organic carbon and available phosphorus, respectively, in both seasons compared to other treatments. Organic manure application had a significant (p<0.05) effect on dry matter, plant height and stem girth at all growth stages in the second cropping season but only in the flower bud stage for both parameters in the first season. Manure application in the second season resulted in an increase in the grain yield compared to the first season, except after application of poultry manure whereafter the grain yield decreased significantly by 168% from the first cropping season. The application of organic manure had a significant effect on sunflower grain yield, dry matter, head dry matter, plant height and stem girth throughout all growing stages in the second cropping season with poultry manure producing the best values.SIGNIFICANCE: •Application of the three organic manures served as a good source of organic amendments for improvement of plant nutrients and selected soil properties. •Based on the results of this study, poultry manure can be recommended as the first choice among the manure used for local smallholder farmers, especially under evenly distributed rainfall <![CDATA[<b>First report of the isolation of entomopathogenic nematode <i>Steinernema australe</i> (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) from South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600027&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt A survey was conducted in Walkerville, south of Johannesburg (Gauteng, South Africa) between 2012 and 2016 to ascertain the diversity of entomopathogenic nematodes in the area. Entomopathogenic nematodes are soil-dwelling microscopic worms with the ability to infect and kill insects, and thus serve as eco-friendly control agents for problem insects in agriculture. Steinernematids were recovered in 1 out of 80 soil samples from uncultivated grassland; soil was characterised as loamy. The entomopathogenic nematodes were identified using molecular and morphological techniques. The isolate was identified as Steinernema australe. This report is the first of Steinernema australe in South Africa. S. australe was first isolated worldwide from a soil sample obtained from the beach on Isla Magdalena - an island in the Pacific Ocean, 2 km from mainland Chile.SIGNIFICANCE: •Entomopathogenic nematodes are only parasitic to insects and are therefore important in agriculture as they can serve as eco-friendly biopesticides to control problem insects without effects on the environment, humans and other animals, unlike chemical pesticides <![CDATA[<b>Forgiveness moderates relations between psychological abuse and indicators of psychological distress among women in romantic relationships</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532019000600028&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Forgiveness frequently occurs in a relational context and is a key ingredient for restoring and maintaining intimate relationships. Yet, certain interpersonal dynamics that sometimes motivate forgiveness (e.g. abuse) have the potential to adversely affect well-being, especially when ongoing exploitation occurs. In this study, we examined the role of forgiveness in moderating relations between psychological abuse and indicators of psychological distress in a sample of community-based South African women currently in a heterosexual romantic relationship. Participants (n=515) completed measures of decisional and emotional forgiveness of their partner, psychological abuse committed by their current partner during the course of the relationship, and depression, anxiety, and stress. Latent profile analysis identified two subgroups characterised by differing levels of forgiveness: partial forgiveness (high decisional forgiveness and moderate emotional forgiveness) and complete forgiveness (high decisional and emotional forgiveness). Regression analyses revealed that the relations of psychological abuse with depression and stress, but not anxiety, were moderated by 'forgiveness of partner'. The complete forgiveness group scored lower on depression and stress when psychological abuse was lower, but higher on each outcome when psychological abuse was higher. The findings suggest that there may be conditions in which forgiveness of partner may promote or undermine the mental health of women who experience abuse perpetrated by their current partner.SIGNIFICANCE: •Whereas women in continuing romantic relationships generally sought neither to avoid or seek revenge on their partners (i.e. decisional forgiveness), distinct subgroups were characterised by more or less reduction of negative emotions (i.e. emotional forgiveness). •Within the context of continuing romantic relationships, the mental health benefits that ordinarily accompany more thorough processing of unforgiveness may be eroded when victims are exposed to severe levels of potentially ongoing psychological abuse