January 28, 2021

Olusola Jeje (North Carolina A&T State University)

Experimental evolution of iron (III) and T7 phage in E. coli K-12 MG1655: Consequences on antimicrobial resistance and prospects for new antimicrobial substances

Fall 2020 Graduate Student Award in Pathogenic and Commensal Organisms


The world is now in post antibiotic era according to the WHO. The search for alternatives to conventional antibiotics is an urgent priority. Ionic and nanoparticle iron have been proposed as potential new antimicrobials, as well as phage treatments.  Understanding the pattern of resistances to iron (III) and phage in bacteria will provide needed background knowledge in the quest for alternatives to conventional antibiotics. Here we propose to utilize experimental evolution of iron (III) salt and subsequently T7 phage in E. coli K-12 MG1655. The goal of this approach is to evaluate whether the evolution of either resistance negatively impacts the evolution of resistance to the other. We will utilize experimental evolution to produce iron (III)-resistant strains and iron (III) plus phage-resistant strains of E. coli in 10 replicates apiece. Phage-only-resistant strains of E. coli also and control populations in 5 replicates apiece. To test if such “trade-offs” in resistances exists, the evolved populations will be tested for a variety of traits such as superior growth in excess iron (III), phage T7, and conventional antibiotics.