Dr. Michael LaGier, Former Students, Publish Research

February 23, 2022

Dr. Michael LaGier, Associate Professor of Biology and Biology Department Chair, recently had a research article published with his former students. The title of the article is: Identification and Characterization of a Potential Antibiotic Producing Strain of Pantoea anantisThe authors include Dr. LaGier, Mark McDaniel, Alyssa Ragner, and Amber Castillo.

Research description:  Antibiotic resistance continues to be a significant public health challenge. Soil bacteria represent a potential source of yet to be discovered antimicrobials. The screening of Iowa (United States) soils yielded the identification of a strain of Pantoea ananatis (MMB-1), which displayed an antimicrobial-producing phenotype against a bacterium (Bacillus subtilis) representative of Gram-positive bacteria. Crude, organic, extracts of MMB-1 retained the anti-microbial activity. The draft genome of strain MMB-1 contains a total of 4,634,340 bp, and 4,624 protein-encoding genes. Consistent with phenotypic observation, the genome of MMB-1 encodes for a number of putative secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters, including those known to be involved in the production of the antibiotics lankacidin C and bottromycin. This study increases our overall understanding of Panteoa as a group, and is also consistent with the notion that members of this genus have significant potential as useful natural product producers.