Department of Biological Sciences

Scott M. Holt, Professor

scottApplied and environmental microbiology

Contact Information:

(309) 298-1484
Waggoner Hall 268

  • Ph.D., 1993, Microbiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • M.S., 1988, Microbiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • B.S., 1985, Biology/Microbiology, Illinois State University, Normal, IL
  • Post-doctoral Research Positions:
    • 1995-1997, USDA, ARS, NCAUR, Peoria, IL
    • 1993-1995, University of Illinois, Department of Food Science, Champaign, IL
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.

  • Pohren, A. S., and S.M. Holt. 2012. Influence of culture conditions on hydrogen peroxide production by Lactobacillus jensenii. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science. 105 (1&2) 19-31.
  • Holt, S.M., J. M. Teresi, and G. L. Côté. 2008. Influence of alternansucrase-derived oligosaccharides and other carbohydrates on -galactosidase and -glucosidase activity in Bifidobacterium adolescentis. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 48:73-79.
  • Côté, G. L., and S. M. Holt. 2007.  Prebiotic oligosaccharides via alternansucrase acceptor reactions. United States Patent, US 7,182,954 B1, Feb 27, 2007.
  • Holt, S.M., C.M. Miller-Fosmore, and G.L. Côté. 2005. Growth of various intestinal bacteria on alternansucrase-dervied oligosaccharides. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 40:385-390.
  • Musser, R.O., H.S. Kwon, S.A. Williams, C.J. White, M.A. Romano, S.M. Holt, S. Bradbury, J.K. Brown, and G.W. Felton. Evidence that caterpillar labial saliva suppresses infectivity of potential bacterial pathogens. 2005. Arch. Insect Biochem. Phys. 58:138-144.
  • Cote, G.L., S.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, Am. Chem. Soc., Washington, DC.
  • Holt, S.M., and E.C. Ricciardi. 2001. Occurrence and expression of -galactosidase in dextran-producing Leuconostoc species. Biotechnol. Lett. 23:1147-1149.
  • Holt, S.M., H. Al-Sheikh, and K. J. Shin. 2001. Characterization of dextran-producing Leuconostoc strains.  Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 32:185-189.
  • Holt, S.M., and G.L. Cote. 1998. Differentiation of dextran-producing Leuconostoc strains by a modified randomly amplified polymorphic DNA protocol. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 64:3096-3098.
  • Holt, S.M., and G.L. Cote. 1997. Cloning and characterization of a sucrase from Leuconostoc mesenteroides. Biotechnol.  Lett. 9:903-907.
  • Kim, A.Y., G.T. Attwood, S.M. Holt, B.A. White, and H.P. Blaschek. 1994. Heterologous expression of endo-b-1,4-D-glucanase from Clostridium cellulovorans in Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 following transformation of the engB gene. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60:337-340.
  • Holt, S.M., and P.A. Hartman. 1994. A zymogram method to detect endoglucanases from Bacillus subtilis, Myrothecium verrucaria, and Trichoderma ressei. J. Ind. Microbiol. 13:2-4.
  • Holt, S.M., P.A. Hartman, and C.W Kaspar. 1989. Enzyme capture assay for the rapid detection of Escherichia coli in oysters. . Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 55:229-232.
  • Brunner, D.P., B.A. Traxler, S. M. Holt, and L. Crose. 1986. Enhancement of UV survival, UV-and MMS mutability, precise excision of Tn10 and complementation of umuC by plasmids of different incompatibility groups. Mut. Res. 166:29-37.