Bioprospecting for novel probiotics

Bioprospecting for novel probiotics

Internship Description

The diversity of probiotic bacteria in food products that are indigenously produced in Saudi Arabia is largely unknown. This study will target the specific isolation of probiotic strains from various traditional food sources (e.g., camel milk).  Appropriate cultivation media will be used for enrichment and isolation of the probiotic strains.  The isolates obtained will be subjected to Illumina-based Whole genome sequencing (WGS) and polyphasic characterization so as to ascertain taxonomic identity and metabolic potential.  To guarantee the viability and functionality of probiotic bacteria in the actual human gut environment, select strains will be further screened for resistance to acidic pH and bile salts. The ability of the select strains to inhibit the growth of pathogens in broth and agar plates will also be evaluated. Lastly, comparative genomics will be used to identify convergences and divergences in the genetic adaptations of the obtained isolates with that of closely-related strains in the public databases  

Deliverables/Expectations

The project will aim to establish a repository for probiotic strains from Saudi-specific sources.  Strains of probiotic bacteria that are potentially new to science may be recovered. The use of cutting-edge bioinformatics will shed light on the genetic mechanisms for probiotic capacity and further aid the development of marker-genes-based high throughput screening of probiotic bacterial candidates. 

Faculty Name

Arnab Pain

Field of Study

Microbiology, Molecular Biology