Diane Baronas-Lowell


Tiny Earth Partner Instructor
Florida Atlantic University

FAU Life Science Lab (RI:BSC 1005L) students dig up their own soil, isolate bacteria and test these bacteria for antibiotic activity against safe relatives of the deadly ESKAPE pathogens. They characterize their antibiotic-producing bacteria with classic microbiology tests, isolate and amplify their DNA and send it to Yale to be sequenced. The students perform basic bioinformatics to determine the bacterial genus. Students in the microbiology teaching labs, as well as, in biology and chemistry research labs are expanding the characterization of these antibiotic-producing bacteria with multiple studies on-going. Additionally, newly-discovered antibiotic-producing bacteria continue to be found every semester. Our work is illustrating the diversity of microbes in South Florida soil, contributing data to the Tiny Earth soil database and finding new antibiotic-producing bacteria.