2023 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Co-Culturing to Examine Interactions of Sagebrush Phyllosphere Microbes

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Leonora Bittleston


The study of plant-microbe interactions is a vibrant and crucial area of research. Together with understanding how microbes interact with their plant host, we seek to understand how these microbes interact with each other. Our experiment used four microbes isolated from Basin Big Sagebrush, Artemisia tridentate subsp. tridentate, leaf samples. These microbes were co-cultured in 20 different combinations and examined for a period of 3 weeks. We predicted that negative microbial interactions would be minimal given the shared ecosystem of the selected microbes. Our observations showed evidence of limited microbial interactions. The fungus we called Microbe Z frequently dominated all experimental plates; however, we observed small zones of inhibition when interacting with microbe X and Y. Subsequently, microbe W grew less extensively when co-cultured with other microbes as when compared to individual culturing. Further research is needed to determine the cause of inhibition and whether beneficial relationships can be ruled out.

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