Competing to be Hawaii’s top microbe

Noelani Bonifacio
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Noelani Bonifacio

By Noelani Bonifacio – Aside from rising food prices, increasing taxes and increasing concerns for our children’s safety, Hawaii’s residents have much to be anxious about. And they look to our State Capitol for leadership through legislation.

Here is an example of two of the bills they would find:


In 2013, the Hawaii State House of Representatives passed out HB293 HD1, which would name Flavobacterium Akiainvivens the official state microbe.

However, the bill failed to get a hearing in the Senate Technology and Arts (TEC) Committee.

Perhaps Sen. Glenn Wakai, chair of the TEC Committee, did not like the microbe that was chosen by Rep. James Tokioka, the primary sponsor of the bill, because this year he’s introduced a bill of his own.

Senate Bill 3124 would make Vibrio Fischeri the state microbe.

As the House Bill is still alive, this could be the year of the competing microbes.

Flavobacterium Akiainvivens was initially discovered by Iris Kuo, an Iolani student, and was found on a rotted shrub.

Vibrio Fischeri, named for Bernhard Fischer of Germany, and has a symbiotic relationship with the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid.

However it’s found in nearly all the earth’s oceans.

It remains to be seen which microbe will come out on top as the Official State Microbe of our state.





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