Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Plants, Soils, and Climate


Plants produce secondary metabolites for various functions, one of which is antibacterial activities. Sagebrush has historically been used by Native Americans for different medicinal purposes, suggesting that it may have secondary metabolites that would have medicinal values, including antimicrobial activities, and can be a natural source for antibiotics. This study aims to carry out the antimicrobial activity of Sagebrush root extract against a handful of bacteria. We tested the antimicrobial activity of root extract of Sagebrush against six bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, E. coli DHSα (Lab cloning strain), Agrobacterium tumefaciens GV3101 (Lab cloning strain), Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci, and P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (both plant pathogens). All the bacteria tested had some level of growth inhibition shown by the root extract. P. syringae pv. tabaci, P. syringa pv. tomato DC3000, A. tumefaciens, and B. subtilis all had decent zones of inhibition. However, P. syringae pv. tabaci showed the largest zone of inhibition. The root extract was least effective against E. coli which only had a diameter of the zone of inhibition of 0.25mm in response to 20 mg of crude root extract. Four biosafety level 2 human pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Proteus vulgaris, and Micrococcus luteus, were also preliminarily tested. M. luteus and S. epidermidis had some growth inhibition shown by root extract. However, M. luteus produced the largest zone of inhibition of 13 mm with a 30 mg disk. Ultimately, metabolite extract of sagebrush roots does show inhibition of bacterial growth in the preliminary study, which suggests it does have the potential for use as an antibiotic.



Faculty Mentor

Amita Kaundal

Departmental Honors Advisor

Jeanette Norton