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Tiger Bugs (1988)

Master Minds: LSU Shaping Tomorrow



Genre: Documentary

Place Covered: Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1988-04-15

Duration: 00:25:41

Subjects: Scientific research | Science | Environment | HAZARDOUS WASTES | Microorganisms | Pollution | Biotechnology | Portier, Ralph J. | Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.)


  • Campanella, Joseph Narrator
  • Strickland, Amanda Ponder Producer
  • Strickland, Wayne Photographer
  • Portier, Ralph Interviewee
  • Deville, Bill Interviewee
  • Wascom, Carroll Interviewee
  • Kohn, Ted Interviewee
  • Perez, Pete Interviewee
  • Field, Stephen Interviewee
  • Roy, Dipak Interviewee
  • Breitenbeck, Gary Interviewee
  • Friday, David Interviewee


This episode of the series “Master Minds: LSU Shaping Tomorrow” from April 15, 1988, features scientists from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge discussing their development of pollution-eating microbes, or “Tiger Bugs,” that are being used in the clean-up of hazardous waste sites in the state. It includes interviews with: Dr. Ralph Portier on his development of the pollution-eating microbes and his hope of creating a biotechnology industry in the state; Bill Deville of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on the success of the first field test using the Tiger Bugs at the Old Inger Superfund site in Ascension Parish in 1986; Ted Kohn of the LSU Office of Technology Transfer on LSU’s partnership with Microbe Masters of Denham Springs to sell the Tiger Bugs; Pete Perez of Microbe Masters on the use of the Tiger Bugs in cleaning up a waste pit near Empire; Dr. Stephen Field on his research into developing mobile microbe treatment units; Dr. Dipak Roy on his research into microbes that can eat pesticides and herbicides; and Dr. Gary Breitenbeck on his study of microbes and their behaviors. Narrator: Joseph Campanella