Department of Biological Sciences

Scott M. Holt, Professor

Applied and environmental microbiology

Scott M. Holt Contact Information:

(309) 298-1484
Waggoner Hall 268


Ph.D. - Iowa State, 1993

Courses Taught:

  • MICR 200 Introductory Microbiology
  • MICR 400 Bacteriology
  • MICR 451 Microbial Ecology
  • MICR 465 Industrial and Fermentation Microbiology
  • BIOL 466 Biotechnology

Research Interests:

  • Natural Microbial Products Research
    My research area has focused on the study of bacteria or their enzymes that make natural microbial products or processes. Natural microbial products are ecologically friendly and benefit society. Leuconostoc are gram-positive, non pathogenic, lactic acid bacteria classified within the Firmicutes (low G + C) phylum. The genus naturally inhabits soil and vegetation and many strains are involved in the fermentation processes of numerous vegetable, dairy, and industrial products. Leuconostocs are a valuable source of α-glucan polymers, polymer-derivatives, and oligosaccharides.  The carbohydrate products are made from glucosyltransferases and sucrose phosphorylase enzymes made by Leuconostoc during sucrose metabolism. I have been examining the production, expression, and regulation of these enzymes.
  • Microbial Fuel Cell Research
    Microbial fuel cells are devices that can convert organic materials including organic waste products from food processing or livestock production into electricity or hydrogen through the activity of microorganisms.  I’m interested in the isolation, characterization, and phylogenetics of microorganisms that can adapt to the microbial fuel cell environment.


  • Holt, Scott M., J.M. Teresi, and G.L. Côté. 2008. Influence of alternansucrase-derived oligosaccharides and other carbohydrates on a-galactosidase and a-glucosidase activity in Bifidobacterium adolescentis. Letters in Applied Microbiology 48:73-79
  • Côté, G.L., and Scott M. Holt. 2007. Prebiotic oligosaccharides via alternansucrase acceptor reactions. United States Patent, US 7,182,954 B1, Feb 27, 2007.
  • Holt, Scott M., C.M. Miller-Fosmore, and G.L. Côté. 2005. Growth of various intestinal bacteria on alternansucrase-dervied oligosaccharides. Letters in Applied Microbiology 40:385-390.   
  • Musser, Richard O., H.S. Kwon, S.A. Williams, C.J. White, Michael A. Romano, Scott M. Holt, S. Bradbury, J.K. Brown, and G.W. Felton. 2005. Evidence that caterpillar labial saliva suppresses infectivity of potential bacterial pathogens. Archives of Insect Biochemistry & Physiology 58:138-144.
  • Cote, G.L., Scott M. Holt, and C. Miller-Fosmore. 2003. Prebiotic oligosaccharides via alternansucrase acceptor reactions, p. 76-89. In G. Eggleston and G.L. Cote (ed), ACS Symposium Series 849, Oxford University Press, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC.