Honors Theses

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Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis - NSU Access Only


Halmos College of Arts and Sciences and the Guy Harvey Oceanographic Research Center

Honors College

Farquhar Honors College Thesis

Honors College Dean

Andrea Nevins, Ph.D.

Home College Dean

Holly Baumgartner, Ph.D.

Faculty Advisor

Aarti Raja, Ph.D.

Faculty Advisor

Emily Schmit Lavin, Ph.D.


Antibiotic resistance is a major global health crisis that has severe consequences in the fields of health, economics, and agriculture. Because of high barriers to drug discovery and a lack of profitability in antibiotic markets, the rate of drug obsolescence has far surpassed drug discovery. However, soil microbes present an opportunity to find new antibiotics as they produce secondary metabolites and are constantly adapting alongside their competitors. We were able to isolate two strains of bacteria from local soil with the potential to produce novel antibiotics Pseudomonas fulva and Plesiomonas shigelloides. P. fulva showed antibiotic activity against multiple relevant pathogen relatives A.baylyi, E.raffinosus, and B. subtilis while P. shigelloides demonstrated antibiotic activity against E. raffinosus. We determined that P. fulva produced two secondary metabolite classes of compounds, an arylpoylene and a redox cofactor while P. shigelloides produce a fatty acid/thiopeptide and betalactone. Each had low similarities to known secondary metabolites, which indicates a potentially novel structure or a significantly altered structure that could prove to be clinically relevant. However, these bacteria stopped producing secondary metabolites before we could begin analyzing the compounds. Research is underway to re-express these compounds from the bacteria.

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