Bachelor of Science (BS)
Crowdsourcing antibiotic discovery from soil is a rising technique that is continuously inspired, in part, by the Tiny Earth Network. The main goal is to find bacteria that are producing antibiotics. Common diseases are getting more difficult to treat with antibiotics due to the bacteria evolving to be able to grow in the presence of the drug. It is no help that antibiotic resistance is growing quicker than the discovery of new antibiotics. This experiment involved examining different types of bacteria, found in random soil samples, that could possibly contain bacterial growth inhibiting properties and thus be used to make antibiotics. Gram staining and other biochemical tests were performed to determine the cell morphology and chemical characteristics of the isolated bacterium. Promising producers were observed, including one that showed a filamentous pattern which represents the Actinomycetes family of common soil bacteria. Although this family is known to produce useful antibiotics, under the attempted culture conditions no robust producers were discovered. The conclusions demonstrate the difficulties of obtaining an antibiotic producing soil bacterium, however the continued work of the Tiny Earth Network exploring soil samples for antibiotic production suggests the discovery of a new antibiotic may be just around the corner.
Angelli, Madison, "Crowdsourcing Antibiotic Discovery from Soil" (2020). Honors Theses. 266.