Dr Errol Cason
Senior Lecturer
Animal Science
Department of Animal Science
IB 70
Agriculture Building: Block 3 3.G02A

Short CV

My current research covers different aspects of microbial biodiversity, especially in the fields of taxonomy, phylogenetics and “omics”. Using a system biology approach, my main interest is to better understand how abiotic and biotic factors shape the dynamics of microbial communities in space and time.

My interests include:


My interests include:


Sequence Analysis

Genome Assembly

Microbial diversity

High Performance Computing


Publications (Short List)

  • Maleke Maleke, Angel Valverde, Alba Gomez-Arias, Errol Cason, Jan-G Vermeulen, Lisa Coetsee-Hugo, Hendrik Swart, Esta Van Heerden, and Julio Castillo. (2019). Reduction of Europium by a Clostridium Strain. Submitted to Scientific Reports.
  • Karabelo M Moloantoa, Angel Valverde, Abdon Atangana, Errol Cason; Liza Coetsee-Hugo,Hendrik Swart, Maleke Maleke, Esta van Heerden, Julio Castillo. (2019). Understanding the effect of pH, temperature and zinc on sulphate reduction dynamics. Submitted to Water, Air, & Soil Pollution
  • Angel Valverde, Errol Cason, Alba Gómez-Arias, Derya Bozkale, Danny Govender, Eddie Riddell and Don Cowan. (2019). Microbial community composition, but neither function nor alpha diversity, responds to chronic pollution in river water and sediments. Submitted to Environmental Microbiology Reports.
  • Tonjock Rosemary Kinge, Errol Cason, Angel Valverde, Martin Nyaga, Marieka Gryzenhout. (2019). Endophytic seed mycobiomes of six sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) cultivars from commercial seedlots using an Illumina sequencing approach. Submitted to Seed Science Research.
  • Gaetan Borgonie, Cara Magnabosco, Antonio Garcia-Moyano, Borja Linage-Alvarez, Abidemi Ojo, Linda Freese, Charl Van Jaarsveld, Christelle Van Rooyen, Olukayode Olakunle Kuloyo, Errol Duncan Cason, Jan-G Vermeulen, Caroline Pienaar, Esta Van Heerden, Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Tullis Onstott, Scott Mundle. (2019). New ecosystems in the deep subsurface follow the flow of water driven by geological activity. Accepted in Scientific Reports.
  • Maleke Maleke, Angel Valverde, Jan-G Vermeulen, Errol Duncan Cason, Alba Gomez-Arias, Karabelo Macmillan Moloantoa, Lisa Coetsee-Hugo, Hendrik C Swart, Esta van Heerden, Julio C Castillo. (2019). Biomineralization and Bioaccumulations of Europium by a Thermophilic Metal Resistant Bacterium. Frontiers in Microbiology. 10:81.
  • Errol D. Cason, Jan-G Vermeulen, Walter J. Müller and Esta van Heerden (2019). Aerobic and anaerobic enrichment cultures highlight the pivotal role of facultative anaerobes in soil hydrocarbon degradation. Environmental Science and Health, Part A. Jan 24:1-8
  • Rachel L. Harris, Maggie C. Y. Lau, Andreia Cadar, Douglas H. Bartlett, Errol Cason, Esta van Heerden, Tullis C. Onstott. (2018). Draft Genome Sequence of “Candidatus Bathyarchaeota” Archaeon BE326-BA-RLH, an Uncultured Denitrifier and Putative Anaerobic Methanotroph from South Africa’s Deep Continental Biosphere. Microbial Resource Announcements. 7 (20) e01295-18.
  • Jan-G. Vermeulen, Felicity Burt, Esta van Heerden, Errol Cason, Muriel Meiring. (2018) Evaluation of in vitro refolding vs cold shock expression: Production of a low yielding single chain variable fragment. Protein Expression and Purification. 151:62-71.
  • Andrew W. Heard, Oliver Warr, GaetanBorgonie,BorjaLinage, Olukayode Kuloyo, JonathanW.Fellowes, Cara Magnabosco, MaggieC.Y.Lau, Mariana Erasmus, Errol D. Cason, Esta van Heerden, Thomas L. Kieft, Jennifer C. Mabry, Tullis C. Onstott, Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Chris J. Ballentine. (2018). South African crustal fracture fluids preserve paleometeoric water signatures for up to tens of millions of years. Chemical Geology. 493:379-395.
  • Olga A Podosokorskaya, Alexander Y. Merkel,Esta van Heerden,Errol D. Cason,Dmitry S. Kopitsyn,Maria Vasilieva,Elizaveta A. Bonch-Osmolovskaya, Ilya V. Kublanov. (2017) Sporosalibacterium tautonense sp. nov., a novel thermotolerant halophilic hydrolytic bacterium isolated from a gold mine, and emended description of the genus Sporosalibacterium. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001737
  • Errol D. Cason, Peter J. Williams, Elizabeth Ojo, Julio Castillo, Mary F. DeFlaun and Esta van Heerden. (2017) Hexavalent chromium bioreduction and chemical precipitation of sulphate as a treatment of site-specific fly ash leachates. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 33:88. DOI: 10.1007/s11274-017-2243-4.
  • Gaëtan Borgonie, Borja Linage-Alvarez, Abidemi Ojo, Steven Shivambu, Olukayode Kuloyo, Errol D. Cason, Sihle Maphanga, Jan-G Vermeulen, Derek Litthauer, Colin D. Ralston, Tullis C. Onstott, Barbara Sherwood-Lollar and Esta Van Heerden. Deep subsurface mine stalactites trap endemic fissure fluid Archaea, Bacteria, and Nematoda possibly originating from ancient seas. In Geomicrobes: Life in Terrestrial Deep Subsurface (2017). Ed Malin Bomberg and Lasse Ahonen. Frontiers Research Topics.
  • G. Borgonie, B. Linage-Alvarez, A. Ojo, S. Shivambu, O. Kuloyo, E.D. Cason, S. Maphanga, J. Vermeulen, D. Litthauer, C.D. Ralston, T.C. Onstott, B. Sherwood-Lollar and E van Heerden (2015) Deep subsurface mine stalactites trap endemic fissure fluid Archaea, Bacteria, and Nematoda possibly originating from ancient seas. Frontiers in Microbiology. 6:833.
  • G. Borgonie, B. Linage-Alvarez, A. O. Ojo, S.O.C. Mundle, L. B. Freese, C. Van Rooyen, O. Kuloyo,J. Albertyn, C. Pohl,E. D. Cason, J. Vermeulen, C. Pienaar, D. Litthauer, H. Van Niekerk, J. Van Eeden, B. Sherwood Lollar, T.C. Onstott & E. Van Heerden (2015) Eukaryotic opportunists rule the deep subsurface biosphere in South Africa. Nature Communications. 6:8952.
  • G. Borgonie, M. Erasmus, E.D. Cason and E. Van Heerden (2015) Beatrix Sibanye Gold and Star Diamonds (Frontier Mining). French TV channel ARTE documentary. To be released in 2016.
  • W.J. Müller, N. Tlalajoe, E.D. Cason, D. Litthauer, Oleg Reva, E. Brzuszkiewicz, E. van Heerden. (2016) Thermus sp. NMX2 A.1 Genome Analyses Reveals a Putative Calvin Benson-Bassham Pathway. G3. 6(9):2791-7. doi: 10.1534/g3.116.032953
  • Podosokorskaya O.A., Merkel A.Y., Gavrilov S.N., Fedoseev I., Heerden E.V., Cason E.D., Novikov A.A., Kolganova T.V., Korzhenkov A.A., Bonch-Osmolovskaya E.A., Kublanov I.V. (2016) Tepidibacillus infernus sp. nov., a novel moderately thermophilic selenate- and arsenate-respiring hydrolytic bacterium isolated from the TauTona gold mine, South Africa. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 66(8):3189-94.
  • M. Erasmus, E.D. Cason, J. van Marwijk, E. Botes, M. Gericke and E. van Heerden. (2014) Gold nanoparticle synthesis using the thermophilic bacterium Thermus scotoductus SA-01 and the purification and characterization of its unusual gold reducing protein. Gold Bulletin. (47): 245-253.
  • C. Magnabosco, M. Tekere, M.C.Y. Lau, B. Linage-Alvarez, O. Kuloyo, M. Erasmus, E.D. Cason, E. Van Heerden, G. Borgonie, T.L. Kieft, J. Olivier and T.C. Onstott. (2014) Comparisons of the composition and biogeographic distribution of the bacterial communities occupying South African thermal springs with those inhabiting deep subsurface fracture water. Frontiers in Microbiology. (5) 697.
  • E.D Cason, L.A. Piater and E. Van Heerden. (2012) Reduction of U(VI) by the deep subsurface bacterium, Thermus scotoductus SA-01, and the involvement of the ABC transporter protein. Chemosphere. (86): 572-577.
  • E. Van Heerden, D.J. Opperman, A.P. Bester, J. Van Marwijik, E.D. Cason, D. Litthauer, L.A. Piater and T.C. Onstott. (2008) Metabolic promiscuity from the deep subsurface: a story of Survival or Superiority. Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XI. Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 7097, pp. 70970S-70970S-12.


Area(s) of Interest

Courses Presented



Community Service

Service Learning


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531


Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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