HHMI001 – Collecting Environmental Samples

Submitted by Joel Graff

The first step of isolating mycobacteriophage is to collect environmental samples.  Mycobacterium smegmatis is found in soil, so I attempted to find samples that were high in organic content (by extension these samples should be high in bacterial density as well).  Three samples were collected in a single “garden” but near different types of plants: coleus (annual, dicot, fresh compost), ornamental grasses (perennial, monocot), and yew tree (perennial, coniferous).  I got greedy and collected a fourth soil sample at the shoreline of a pond just north of the biology building at UBMC.  I might drop the “yew tree” sample because it was so dry…



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