Faculty Advisor

Buckholt, Michael Allan

Faculty Advisor

Shell, Scarlet


Antibiotic resistance in pathogens has forced scientists to develop new treatments for diseases. Mycrobacterium tuberculosis is a difficult pathogen to rid from a patient. Biologists have turned to the soil to find microbes that could produce molecules for new antibiotic drug treatments. The goal of this project was to test isolated soil microbes for antibiotic activity against Mycobacterium smegmatis, a non pathogenic relative of Mycrobacterium tuberculosis. Isolates that produced zones of inhibition were identified by 16S rRNA sequencing. Organic extracts were made from the isolates, and several extracts inhibited M. smegmatis growth. HPLC compared the chemical profiles of several extracts. In total, 6 of the 21 tested isolates were found to have antibiotic activity against M. smegmatis.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2018


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology