Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



With an increase in animal production closer to populated areas, odorants from animal waste are a rapidly rising concern. 3-Methylindole (3-MI) is an odorant produced from the biodegradation of L-tryptophan by bacteria in animal waste. Currently, no 3-MI producing bacterium has been isolated from swine waste, and isolation of such an organism would provide insight into production and regulation of 3-MI. Therefore, an experiment was designed to isolate a 3-MI producer based on previous work which indicates the presence of Fe(III) increases 3-MI levels. An Enterococcus sp. was isolated from WKU's primary swine waste lagoon in rich, anaerobic medium plus tryptophan and Fe(III). Successive laboratory culturing of this bacterium resulted in the loss of 3-MI production, which may be due to a lack of nutritional requirements. Attempts to restart 3-MI production by supplementing different nutritional components to the media were unsuccessful. Current results indicate this strain does not produce 3-MI.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Kinchel Doerner


Animal Sciences