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Our FdSc Microbiology student, Becky, has been working hard on an impressive research project, studying various soil samples from across the Northwest, looking at fungus growth and soil types, which largely contribute to UK agriculture.

For her first project, Becky studied the effects and resistance of common fungicides – which are pesticides used to control the growth of fungi on plants.

From her plates, Becky identified a large amount of fungi growth where the fungicide hasn’t been effective, in comparison to the plate with insufficient growth, showing that the fungicide has been very effective and has inhibited growth, conveying resistance.

For her second project, Becky has been analysing different soil pH (acid or alkaline) to determine which type of microorganisms are present within the soil, as different soil pH's have different microorganisms present.

In this case, Becky identified soil that had a low pH and the microorganisms that grew in the special media are known as acidophiles, as they will only grow in an acidic environment.

This information is a crucial part of agriculture, as farmers who are wanting to grow a different crop, would need to lower the pH of their soil by adding different chemicals, that would allow a different type of crop to flourish.

Great work Becky! Some really interesting finds.

If you’re interested in following in Becky’s footsteps and studying a degree in Microbiology, our degree is one of only a select few microbiology degrees in the country of its type.

Picture of our microbiology students petri dish samples Picture of our microbiology students petri dish samples