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Bacterial diseases that have been successfully treated with antibiotics for decades are now posing a threat to human health because of the development of antibiotic resistance in these pathogens. The overuse of antibiotics in agriculture and their misuse and/or the lack ofregulation in medicine are largely responsible for the high levels of antibiotic resistance found in common pathogens. The discovery of new antibiotics and alternative antimicrobial strategies has become critical. The Tiny Earth Network, a novel educational research program, is mobilizing high school and college students (BIO 411L) to participate in a global investigation through hands on research, in efforts todiscover new antibiotics. An independent research project centered on isolating bacteria from a soil sample was conducted, and these isolates were examined for compounds that exhibit anti-microbial effects on known pathogens. Three isolates from the sample were determined to have antimicrobial activity against Streptococcus epidermidis. Further biochemical tests were done on these isolates in order to identify them by their characteristics, including catalase, citrate, and gelatinase tests, SIM tests for motility, hemolysis tests, and tests for growth on TSI, MSA, and MacConkey agar. An antibiotic-producing isolate that was sequenced was determined to be a fungus in the family Magnaporthaceae. This project was successful in finding sources of antibiotics right on UD's campus, perhaps in an unlikely source: fungi. The novelty of the microorganism's antibiotic activity is unknown, but could be a prospect in the battle against antibiotic resistance.
Jessica Elizabeth Geyer, Yvonne Y. Sun
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Life On Land
"Fun with Fungi: Antimicrobial Activity of Soil Microbes on Campus" (2020). Stander Symposium Projects. 1780.