16. Soil Nutrient Level and Antibiotic Producing Bacteria

Soil Nutrient Level and Antibiotic Producing Bacteria

Alyssa M. Morris
Beloit College

Tiny Earth was part of a biochemistry capstone course at Beloit College, titled Next-Generation Antimicrobials. This study uses Tiny Earth protocols to delve into how gardening could impact the bacteria, focusing on how the soil nutrient level impacts the number of culturable bacteria. The expectation was that the garden would have more bacteria than a grassy field. Certain nutrients like nitrates, phosphorus, and sulfur are often needed for bacterial growth, although each bacteria’s needs are different. Colony-forming units of varying serial dilution levels were used to measure the number of bacteria culturable. Overall, the nutrient high soil did not have a different enough number of culturable bacteria than the nutrient low soil sample. Four isolates of interest were found, three of which were 16s rRNA sequenced. One isolate with genera Variovorax and was promising because the isolate was effective against B. subtilis, P. putida, and S. epidermidis