Biology Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures


A Comparative Study of Microorganism Populations from Storm Water Treatment Areas and Select South Florida Locations

Event Name/Location

2015 ASM Florida Branch Meeting, Cocoa Beach, Florida, October 9-11, 2015

Document Type


Publication Date



Nova Southeastern University is participating in Yale University center for teaching’s Small World Initiative (SWI), in the search for new antibiotics produced by soil dwelling microorganisms. The microorganisms found in soils should change depending on the nutrients and the concentration of those nutrients in that soil. Samples have been collected from nutrientrich soils in storm water treatment areas (STAs) in the Everglades and from nutrient poor soils in the suburban areas (including the cities of Davie and West Palm), to search for antibiotic producing microorganisms and observe the diversity of microorganisms in these areas. After these soil samples were collected, they were serially diluted and plated. Isolates from the diluted plates were then tested against tester strains (safe relatives of specific drug resistant microorganisms) and observed to see if a zone of inhibition (indicative of antibiotic production) was present. Isolates that presented of zone of inhibition were further characterized via Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) Analysis. From the organisms collected from Davie soil results showed that the organisms are closely related to the Pseudomonas and Bacillus genera. The soil analyzed from Everglades showed a variety in genera that were morphologically distinct and more varied than the organisms collected from areas in Davie. Results showed that microorganisms from the STAs belonged to the following genera: Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Rheinemera, Psychrobacillus, and Aeromonas. The West Palm Beach sample is currently being diluted and tested against the tester strains. Further studies of these organisms will include the chemical extraction of the antibiotic compounds being produced, characterization of the compound(s) and a comparison of the organisms from the different sites.


Also presented at:

  • 22nd Annual ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators, Austin, Texas, May 28-31, 2015
  • Nova Southeastern University 14th Annual Undergraduate Student Symposium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 10, 2015

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