Antibiotic Potential of Flathead Fungi & Flora

Ethan Harbo, Terri Ridenour, Kate Smith, and Dr. Mirabai McCarthy, Department of Biology, Flathead Valley Community College, 777 Grandview Drive Kalispell, MT 59901

The CDC’s 2019 report on antibiotic resistance indicates that there are approximately 2.8 million infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria and fungi each year in the United States. An uncountable number of organisms with antibiotic potential remain unidentified, any one of which possibly holding novel compounds capable of assisting next-generation antibiotic development. We are delving into this vast gap in knowledge so that society may benefit in the future. The goal of our research is to collect, identify, and prepare species of fungi, lichen, and plants that exist in Flathead Valley, for antibiotic analyses. To date, approximately three-hundred-forty specimens have been databased from two-hundred-and-sixty different species. About a third of our samples have been extracted using methanol, ethanol, or water solvents. The extracts were desiccated, later resuspended for plate testing using the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method, and measured for minimum inhibitory concentration values. Various extracts were tested against pathogenic bacteria including Escheria coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis, S. aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus cereus and Psuedomonas aeruginosa. Thirty-one different species, including twenty-one lichens, four bryophytes, six pteridophytes, five spermatophytes, and one fungal species inhibited growth of various bacteria, but none inhibited that of E. coli. FVCC is continuing this research through collecting, identification, and testing of organisms in the Flathead Valley. 



Research in this publication was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number P20GM103474. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.



Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Ethan Harbo, Teri Ridenour, Kate Smith

Institution: Flathead Valley Community College

Type: Poster

Subject: Microbiology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 8
Date/Time: Tue 5:00pm-6:00pm
Session Number: 5630