Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2021

Academic Department


Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Debra Wohl


Fecal microbiota transplants (FMT) are used for patients with dysbiosis of their gut microbiome or with endogenous pathogens. While FMTs are promising, it has become apparent that the gut microbiome varies between individuals and in the same individuals with diet and age. Therefore, it is difficult to establish a microbiome baseline and assess the compatibility of donor stool since the gut microbiome contains numerous bacteria that facilitate metabolic processes as well as prevent the growth of exogenous pathogens. A recent approach to address this issue is the storage of an individual’s stool samples for later. This storage would prove useful for patients prone to dysbiosis pathologies. The primary goal of this experiment was to analyze changes in the stool microbiome overtime prior to stool sample storage. The hypothesis was that as time passes, endogenous bacteria that are poorly adapted for the external environment would decrease while opportunistic bacteria would increase. The study was performed with stool samples passively obtained from Canis familiaris. Samples were set out in room temperature for 0 hours, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, and 2 days. Once the allotted time passed, the samples were homogenized and underwent DNA extraction and PCR amplification of the V4 16S DNA region. Findings show that there was a substantial change in the microbiome for the samples left out for 2 days, notably the Bacteroidales order decreasing and Clostridiales order increasing. Some minor changes were observed between 1 hour and 3 hours which could be critical in a FMT setting, therefore immediate processing would be necessary. Consumer end processing and proper banking infrastructure can help mitigate this delay.


Honors in the Discipline; BIO 492 Research in Biology; Scholarship, Creative Arts, and Research Project (SCARP); Tri-beta Convention

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