Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

Brooke Jude

Project Advisor 2

Felicia Keesing

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Science, Mathematics and Computing of Bard College.

The decline in global biodiversity has threatened both human and wildlife populations. Human activity has been implicated as a contributing factor in intensifying emerging infectious disease dispersal by modifying natural environments and thus creating new opportunities for evolution. In principle, loss of biodiversity could either increase or decrease disease transmission. Emerging infectious diseases usually flourish in species poor areas where they have been seen to wipe out huge amounts of populations and pose a significant threat to infecting human populations. Bioaugmentation strategies are currently being tested using naturally soil dwelling bacteria Janthinobacterium lividum and fungi Metarhizium anisopliae to aid in combatting the spread of two infectious diseases, Chytridiomycosis and Lyme disease. This study examines the bacteria- fungi interaction of five violacein-producing bacteria isolates antifungal activity to commercially available Metarhizium anisopliae F52 (Met 52). Culturable violacein producing bacteria were phylogenetically identified based on 16s rRNA sequences. Fungal killing assays were also performed to examine the antifungal activity against Metarhizium anisopliae F52 for each strain. Overall, 4 out of 5 isolates were identified as the genus Janthinobacterium, while one was identified as Pseudomonas. Fungal killing assays resulted in various degrees of zones of inhibition. Three strains were shown to be good inhibitors of Met 52, while 2 strains showed little to no inhibition to Met 52. This study constitutes the first experiment testing the antifungal activities against Met 52. Data from this study can be considered preliminary results in further understanding the bacterial-fungal interactions as well as new bioaugmentation strategies using beneficial microorganisms that are not harmful to humans and other surrounding organisms.

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