Bioprospecting for cellulose-degrading microbes

Type of Resource



This is a long-term inquiry activity in which students investigate locations they believe harbor cellulose-digesting microbes, collect samples, isolate them on selective media, and screen them for cellulase activity. These novel microbes may be useful for the production of cellulosic ethanol. In the process they learn about plating techniques, serial dilutions, symbiotic relationships and enzyme specificity. Two methods are provided, one focusing on isolation of pure microbial strains, the other

Performance Expectations

HS-LS2-7   Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

HS-ETS1-2   Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.