Date of Submission

Spring 2021

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Brooke Jude

Abstract/Artist's Statement

In the past, studies have shown that biomaterials may be good for harboring microorganisms due to the provision of specific amenities that facilitate microbial growth, such as a moist environment, a substrate rich in nutrients, or a surface that is amenable to bacterial attachment and growth. Despite the fact that spiderwebs are one of the most common biomaterials found in nature, there is a dearth of research on what types of bacteria can be found on them. One such type of bacteria may be the antibiotic-producing actinomycete, as other insects have been associated with this bacteria in the past and there is likely to be a great deal of interaction between the soil microbiome and the spider web microbiome. By culturing and isolating the microbes that grow on sheet webs in the Hudson Valley, the microbial communities that live on spiderwebs can be further characterized through gene sequencing and Gram staining, as well as an assay that tests the antibiotic-producing capability of eight isolates against ESKAPE pathogens. Although these eight isolates could not be successfully sequenced due to unfavorable time constraints, three of the bacterial isolates cultured from sheet webs were shown to have a potential antibiotic effect against Bacillus subtilis. Another four of the bacterial isolates formed unique cell aggregates that require further study.

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On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

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