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ERIC Number: EJ881786
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
Microbial Resistance to Triclosan: A Case Study in Natural Selection
Serafini, Amanda; Matthews, Dorothy M.
American Biology Teacher, v71 n9 p536-540 Nov-Dec 2009
Natural selection is the mechanism of evolution caused by the environmental selection of organisms most fit to reproduce, sometimes explained as "survival of the fittest." An example of evolution by natural selection is the development of bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial agents as a result of exposure to these agents. Triclosan, which is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that is effective against bacteria, and viruses, is a particular example. This article describes research on the resistance of wild clonal populations of "Escherichia coli" and "Staphylococcus aureus" to triclosan and the subsequent reversion of these resistant bacteria back to wild-type when triclosan is removed from their environment. These experiments can serve as a practical, timely, and engaging model for the study of natural selection in the biology classroom and can be performed either as long-term open inquiry or as a teacher-guided inquiry. (Contains 5 figures.)
National Association of Biology Teachers. 12030 Sunrise Valley Drive # 110, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-406-0775; Tel: 703-264-9696; Fax: 703-264-7778; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A