2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Tim J. O'Donnell


Of the estimated one trillion on Earth, only a small portion of microbes have been thoroughly studied and documented. Those organisms that are considered ‘fastidious’ require complex or particular nutrients and can be difficult to culture due to an inability to simulate their niche ecological environment in a culture medium. We plan to conduct a series of trials to test the effectiveness of three different culture medium; Luria, Nutrient, and Brain-Heart Infusion, against a commonly used medium, Tryptic Soy – on fastidious microbes: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Lactococcus lactis, and Serratia marcescens. When refrigerated for storage, many microbes experience extended lifespans, but others can die off prematurely. Future cultures fail to produce the organisms of interest. Our goal is to increase the longevity and efficiency of culturing and maintaining these microbes, to optimize the culturing protocols and standardize the process for use in other preparation laboratories. This research centers on providing additional insight into the proper and effective preservation of library cultures for P. aeruginosa, L. lactis, and S. marcescens. Using various aseptic microbiological techniques in addition to qualitative and quantitative methods – we plan to provide a template for further understanding bacterial longevity and its implications for laboratory maintenance.