2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

Pesticide Application and Motility of Soil Bacteria Bacillus subtilis

Rachael N. Newton
Dr. Joyce Patrick, Faculty Mentor

Bacillus subtilis is soil bacterium likely associated with plant roots.  Swarming, a type of motility seen in B. subtilis, is characterized as a coordinated bacterial motility that allows rapid migration over and colonization of a surface. Plant roots colonized with B. subtilis may be protected from colonization by bacterial pathogens; therefore, swarming motility presents a possible advantage to the plant. However, the lack of observable swarming motility in nature is largely unexplained and, thus, investigation into the application of pesticides is ecologically relevant.  Pesticides could act as chemical signals that influence bacterial behavior; this research investigates the effect of pesticides on the in vitro swarming behavior of B. subtilis. Swarm assays are conducted to measure the rate of swarming motility both with and without the presence of pesticides.  Results of completed assays indicate that swarming motility is adversely affected by the application of the organically derived pesticide Neem Oil.

Keywords: swarming motility, assay, pesticide, Bacillus subtilis, bacteria, swarming behavior, microbiology


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 6-
Location: GEO - SUB

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