Isolating Antibiotic Producing Bacteria from Soil


Isolating Antibiotic Producing Bacteria from Soil



Megan Ashley Marasco


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.



There are many issues within healthcare, with one of the most concerning being antibiotic resistance. Healthcare providers’ over-prescribing of antibiotics artificially selects for antibiotic resistant populations. Over time, bacteria that are selected for have the ability to become resistant to one or many of the antibiotics that are currently used in healthcare. These types of pathogens that can survive antibiotics are called “super bugs” and those are the type that healthcare providers worry about. These “super bugs” are the type of pathogens that are causing the issues, since there has been no new antibiotic class discovered in the last decade or they are still in the FDA approval process. Thus, the goal of my project is to explore the soil for antibiotic producing bacteria. The soil is home to a diverse set of microbes that are constantly competing for nutrients. Most of today’s antibiotics were discovered in the soil. Some bacteria develop the ability to create antibiotics in order to kill their competition. This characteristic is not only beneficial to their survival, but also to us. After soil isolation, we ran several tests for identification, production of antibiotic compounds, and extraction of the compound. The compound was then tested for effectiveness against known pathogens and safety in eukaryotic cells. This process allows for quicker antibiotic discovery in a teaching lab. With the many people working to discover new antibiotic compounds a major issue in the healthcare field can be corrected before all antibiotics become obsolete when treating bacterial infections.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Erica Marie Rinehart, Yvonne Y. Sun

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Isolating Antibiotic Producing Bacteria from Soil