2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Pesticide Application, Biofilm Formation, and Motility of Soil Bacteria Bacillus subtilis


Rachael Newton* and Jennifer Amstutz
Dr. Joyce Patrick, Faculty Mentor

Bacillus subtilis is soil bacteria likely associated with plant roots.  Swarming, a type of motility seen in B. subtilis, is characterized as coordinated motility allowing migration over and colonization surfaces.  A biofilm is an extracellular matrix that aids in survival of the colony characterized by its raised, rough textured appearance.  It is possible that pesticides act as chemical signals that influence bacterial behavior; this research investigates whether swarming motility and biofilm formation of B. subtilis are affected by the application of commercial pesticides.  Swarm assays measure the rate of swarming motility in the presence of pesticides.  Biofilm formation assays characterize B. subtilis’ ability to form a biofilm in the presence of pesticides.  Completed assays indicate that swarming motility and biofilm formation are adversely affected by the application of the organically derived pesticide Neem Oil, but not noticeably affected by the application of pyrethrin, naturally-derived insecticide, or malathion, synthetic organophosphate.

Keywords: 

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 3-14
Location: GEO - SUB
Time: 3:30

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