Antibiotic-producing Bacteria from Temperate Zone Formicidae

Croft, Ryan
Kimble, Elise
Recent studies on fungus-growing leaf cutter ants (tribe Attine) and the antibiotic/antifungal bacteria growing on their exoskeleton to protect their fungal farms suggests an important question: Could bacteria from temperate zone ants be a promising source for novel antibiotics? To answer this question, we have collected six different temperate zone ant species and plated whole body homogenate on six different kinds of agar media for the growth of bacteria. The bacterial isolates from each ant species were tested for the inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Tests indicate that a substantial portion (23.8%) of our isolates completely inhibit one or more of the aforementioned bacteria. The antibiotic-producing isolates that showed complete inhibition are in the process of tentative identification through 16s ribosomal RNA sequences.
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