Biology Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures

Isolation and Characterization of Antibiotic Producing Bacteria from Storm Water Treatment Areas

Event Name/Location

Nova Southeastern University 16th Annual Undergraduate Student Symposium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 7, 2017

Presntation Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding


With the diminishing supply for new antibiotic drugs to fight the rising number of infections caused by drug-resistant pathogens, a novel program called the Small World Initiative (SWI) was developed. SWI is a collaborative research effort that combines scientific education with research. The research is performed by undergraduate students from select Universities throughout the world. The majority of antibiotics in current use originate from soil dwelling bacteria; thus, discovery of new antibiotics produced by soil microbes is used as a scientific driver to combat the antibiotic crisis. Microorganisms present in soils should change with the concentrations of nutrients found in the soil or interstitial water in soils. To test this hypothesis, we screened for bacteria from nutrient-poor soils in suburban south Florida and nutrient rich soils near the Everglades. The current project involves samples obtained from the Storm Water Treatment (STA) areas near the Everglades, as well as soil obtained from the marine environment; off the shore of Dania Beach. Results obtained from the suburban soil study will be compared with new samples obtained from nutrient rich soils. Collected soil samples were serially diluted and plated to isolate bacteria. Isolated bacteria are being analyzed via biochemical tests and using polymerase chain reaction to identify the genus of the organisms. The organisms will be screened to determine if they produce antibiotic compounds. The active compound will be extracted from the organisms. Analyses of the extracted active compounds will be performed using Mass spectroscopy, and Infra-red spectroscopy to determine their chemical composition.

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