20. Soil Extract Media: A Path to Discovery of New Antibiotic Producers in the Soil

Soil Extract Media: A Path to Discovery of New Antibiotic Producers in the Soil

Meg Schaefer, Mallory Willett, Joanna Klein
University of Northwestern – St. Paul

To overcome the growing problem of antibiotic-resistance, Tiny Earth seeks to find new antibiotics produced by soil bacteria. A limitation may be the inability to culture a diversity of bacteria using current culture techniques. I sought to develop and test soil extract media to grow novel types of soil bacteria. I hypothesized that media with a soil extract will have greater bacterial diversity compared to medias typically used in the lab. Soil was plated on soil extract media, and we found that the soil extract media had more morphologically diverse colonies and a larger CFU/g than the standard medias. Plating the bacteria on standard medias showed that not all of the bacteria were able to be grown on the standard medias. More work needs to be done to determine whether the soil extract medias were successful in growing bacteria that have not been previously grown in the lab.