Lead Scientist provides background for the day’s research activities
The Insect-Microbiome Bioprospecting Training course is designed to train teachers to run a bioprospecting research lab in their high school. Teachers, and later their students, will learn how to discover novel antibiotic candidates.
SOC support teachers/high schools who wish to establish a bioprospecting lab in their school with promotional lab equipment pricing, a repository for promising isolate storage, further isolate testing through SOC research partners, and shared intellectual property management.
Teacher/student training manual
(100+ pages of guidance)
Why focus on Insects?
Historically, bioprospecting efforts have focused on isolating antimicrobials from soil samples with a success rate on the order of 1 in 100,000. This training, however, focusses on learning how to isolate antimicrobial candidates that live symbiotically on and within insects. Research scientists are finding that bioprospecting using insect-derived samples has a much higher likelihood for success - 100 to 1000 times more likely!
In this course, teachers will learn how to:
isolate bacteria strains (Actinomycetes) from insect samples
establish isolate morphologies and other bioassay-determined characteristics
co-culture isolates for antimicrobial inhibition against antagonists
use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and electrophoresis to amplify and separate isolated genetic material by gene length
analyze 16S rRNA genetic sequence results to establish likely phylogenetic ancestry using MOLE-BLAST and MEGA
learn about whole genome sequencing and how antiSMASH identifies biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) that encode novel pathways for secondary metabolites with potential medical applications.