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Effects of the Antibiotic Monensin on Soil Microbial Populations

Alexander Engel (Dr. Arlene Haffa)


The antibiotic monensin is fed to dairy cattle in Wisconsin to improve milk production. In order to determine if monensin is affecting the environment and microbial communities in a negative way, a method for extracting DNA from soil was developed. Small soil samples were taken from a farm in Adams County, Wisconsin. Attempts to extract microbial DNA from the soil included the SDS-based extraction method, the bead beating method (MO-BIO Laboratories catalog # 12888-S), and the bashing bead lysis method (Zymo Research Corporation catalog # D6001S). The most successful was the latter. The DNA was then amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using universal primers (Eubac 1492 R and Eubac 27 F). After amplification by PCR, the microbial DNA will then be cloned into a pGEM vector sequence (Promega, Madison, Wisconsin) and a clone library will be sent for sequencing. This will allow us to assess the microbial populations and any changes monensin has on them. It may also be useful in determining what types of microbes will digest the monensin to remove it from the environment as a biomedical agent.

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by Mihalick, Jennifer E last modified Jul 30, 2010 10:13 AM