Targeted screening for antibiotic-producing bacteria associated with fungus-growing termites

Målgruppe:Biology, Biochemistry
Niveau:Bachelor, Masters

Background: Fungus-growing termites rely on the suppression of competitor or disease-causing organisms of themselves and their mutualistic food fungus. We have recently identified a Bacillus sp. that is responsible for inhibition of several fungi that may enter termite colonies and potentially antagonise the termite fungus. Similarly, we have identified a number of Actinobacteria with promising antibiotic potential, some of which have been shown to produce chemical compounds not previously known.

Brief project description: We have a large number of isolates of Actinobacteria in pure cultures and the project will initiate by screening their antifungal activities against a set of fungi isolated from fungus-growing termites and from other sources. Promising antibiotic producers will be further tested against a larger set of fungi, including if possible facultative human pathogens. Particularly promising candidates will be analysed chemically by natural product chemists to elucidate the chemical compounds responsible for the observed inhibition.

Anvendte metoder:Culturing, Petri plate bioassays, image analyses, PCR
Keywords:Actinobacteria, Macrotermitinae, Fungus-growing termites, Streptomyces, Antibiotics
Vejleder(e): Michael Thomas-Poulsen