Nabil Chowdhury

Nabil Chowdhury

An Outreach Approach on Antimicrobial Resistance & Citrus Greening Disease


Nabil Chowdhury, Marie de Gracia Coquerel, Andrew McAuley, Marina S. Ascunce


Dr. Marina Ascunce


College of Agricultural and Life Sciences


In the last 15 years, the Florida citrus industry has been seriously affected by citrus greening or Huanglongbing (HLB). The causal agent, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), is an unculturable bacterium that it is transmitted by an invasive insect, the citrus psyllid, that feeds upon citrus leaves. As crop losses reach up to 90%, Florida growers are desperate, resulting in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of spraying antibiotics, streptomycin (STR) and oxytetracycline (OTC), on citrus groves to treat HLB. My research goal was to study the changes on the microbial community in the soil of the citrus groves where antibiotics are being applied. My hypothesis is that as the antibiotics are being sprayed more readily on the citrus groves, the microbial community in the soil will experience a decrease in the amount of species richness and diversity. I also expect that specific groups of bacteria found in the soil will develop a resistance to the antibiotics and become predominant in comparison to other bacterial species. During my lab work I was able to conduct DNA extractions, however due to COVID-19, all my lab work has been put on hold. As a result, I focused on creating outreach educational material to bring awareness about antimicrobial resistance to the general public. Thus, this specific section on antimicrobial resistance was made as a subsection of the IRIS lab website as a means to provide access to those who remain generally unaware of the consequences of antimicrobial resistance within our community.


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Research Pitch

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