The Effects of Growth Conditions on Bacterial Inhibition of Water Mold

Mary Elizabeth Blaha, Kori Sye


Amphibian populations have been declining over the past 40 years in part due to water mold infection. Interestingly, various bacterial species can inhibit water mold growth in vitro. Understanding the mechanisms underlying bacterial inhibition of water mold can possibly provide applications in nature to stop amphibian population declines. The Peterson laboratory studies the mechanisms underlying bacterial inhibition of water mold. Previous researchers hypothesized that pH changes could be important for this inhibition. The research presented here focused on the effects that growth conditions (pH, energy sources, and glucose concentrations) have on the ability of bacteria to inhibit water mold growth. It was found that water mold by itself is inhibited at basic pH and that bacteria create alkaline and acidic environments when given protein and carbohydrate media, respectively. Additionally, bacteria can inhibit water mold when given protein but not when given carbohydrate as the primary energy source. Bacteria have very weak growth at high concentrations of glucose and this seemed to affect their ability to inhibit water mold. Bacteria’s ability grow substantially should be further studied to determine its importance for inhibition of water mold.


Water mold; Bacteria; Inhibition

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