Attempts to Determine the Community Structure of Archaea in Major Tributaries of the Mississippi River

Bateman, Thomas Douglas (2014) Attempts to Determine the Community Structure of Archaea in Major Tributaries of the Mississippi River. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Colin Jackson from Biology, The University of Mississippi.

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Archaea were once thought to be limited to extreme environments, but it has now been established that they are found in diverse ecosystems worldwide. Archaea may possess distinctive properties that affect biogeochemical processes, which makes understanding their distribution crucial in determining their effect on these processes. Little research has been done on the ecology of Archaea in rivers, and this study represents the first attempt to gain an understanding of the diversity of Archaea within major tributaries of the Mississippi River. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification of archaeal DNA and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to examine community structure, and DNA sequencing of specific DGGE bands was performed to identify these communities’ component populations. Despite the use of archaeal specific PCR primers, no Archaea were recovered from the samples; although, various bacteria and one eukaryote were identified in the sequencing data. However, relationships were clear among the samples, with particle-associated communities being distinct from those that were free-living. These findings may have implications of future studies of Archaeal diversity within rivers, particularly regarding primer specificity.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Bateman, Thomas Douglas
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. Biology
Thesis Advisor: Colin Jackson
Thesis Advisor's Department: Biology
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
Depositing User: Mr. Buck Bateman
Date Deposited: 09 May 2014 14:56
Last Modified: 09 May 2014 14:56

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