Students Conduct Summer Research on Plant Bacteria

Over the summer, biology professor Michelle Lum teamed up with students as part of the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering’s Summer Research Scholarship Program.

Over the course of several weeks, Dr. Lum and her student researchers identify bacteria that benefit and promote plant growth. They do this through two strategies: suspending plant roots in sterile solutions, and swabbing petri dishes full of discrete colonies to characterize further bacteria.

Using dry weight measurements to track their progress, students study the interactions between different bacteria and plants. By the end of the six-week research session, they will learn which plants these bacteria can nodulate.

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