BIOL 4222 Projects


Microbial Bioprospecting Project

    Less than 5% of all bacteria and archaea that inhabit soil have actually been described in the literature.  Molecular and biochemical techniques used to study soil microbial communities have confirmed that they are extremely diverse and complex.  Due to the fact that we are unable to culture the vast majority of the microbes inhabiting the soil the communities that exist within soil are not well understood.  In this project, students help to design and utilize some unique culture techniques to culture and describe some of the novel bacteria from soil. We also evaluate whether or not these soil bacteria produce bacteriocins (or antimicrobial compounds).   Student involved in this project learn and/or use the following techniques:  microbial culture methods, aseptic technique, DNA extraction, PCR, DNA sequence analysis, gel electrophoresis, biochemical analysis, microscopy, spectrophotometry, antimicrobial screening and more. 

Past Students who have worked on this project:

  • Ja Rivers (received his MD from Mercer University)
  • Caroline Doty (received her PhD from Northwestern University)
  • Ben Summers (currently in a PA program at South University)
  • Kabir Ali (currently in a PA program at Georgia Health Institute)
  • Bibi Haniff (currently in a PA program at Georgia Health Institute)
  • Shari Williams
  • Adrienne Dunbar (currently working on her MS at Georgia State University)
  • Tasnuva Jhileek (applying to graduate school)

Other Past Projects

  • Earthworm Feeding Behavior on Bacteria
  • Source-Tracking of microbial contamination in aquatic environments
  • Characterization of microbial communities on gypsum rock
  • soil microbial community analysis and drilosphere community analysis