Presentation Type

Poster

Title of Abstract

Seasonal changes in the dsr community structure of an anoxic karst sink in the Gulf of Mexico.

Abstract

Jewfish sink is a 200 foot deep sinkhole located in Aripeka, Florida that was engulfed by the rising sea following the last ice age. The now stagnant underwater cave experiences very little circulation and houses a diverse sulfur reducing microbial community at its anoxic base. Respiration of sulfur allows these microbes to thrive without oxygen. Levels of hydrogen sulfide, the principle byproduct of dissimilatory sulfate metabolism, fluctuate steadily throughout the year and drastically alter the surrounding environment as is evidenced by the black sulfidic sands that frame the sink. Sulfur reducing microbial communities provide integral information regarding how life may theoretically operate in oxygen free niches that exist throughout the universe. Primers capable of amplifying the dissimilatory sulfite reducatse gene from various bacteria of Jewfish sink were previously developed by aligning known sequences from BLAST, KEGG, and IMG gene databases. Samples collected at different depths were filtered and the subsequent DNA obtained was amplified by PCR. As expected, presence or absence of the dsr gene correlated with the oxic/anoxic boundary. Current research focuses on fingerprinting the dsr community utilizing DGGE and pyrosequencing.

Categories

Natural Sciences

Research Type

Thesis

Mentor Information

Haydn Rubelmann

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Seasonal changes in the dsr community structure of an anoxic karst sink in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jewfish sink is a 200 foot deep sinkhole located in Aripeka, Florida that was engulfed by the rising sea following the last ice age. The now stagnant underwater cave experiences very little circulation and houses a diverse sulfur reducing microbial community at its anoxic base. Respiration of sulfur allows these microbes to thrive without oxygen. Levels of hydrogen sulfide, the principle byproduct of dissimilatory sulfate metabolism, fluctuate steadily throughout the year and drastically alter the surrounding environment as is evidenced by the black sulfidic sands that frame the sink. Sulfur reducing microbial communities provide integral information regarding how life may theoretically operate in oxygen free niches that exist throughout the universe. Primers capable of amplifying the dissimilatory sulfite reducatse gene from various bacteria of Jewfish sink were previously developed by aligning known sequences from BLAST, KEGG, and IMG gene databases. Samples collected at different depths were filtered and the subsequent DNA obtained was amplified by PCR. As expected, presence or absence of the dsr gene correlated with the oxic/anoxic boundary. Current research focuses on fingerprinting the dsr community utilizing DGGE and pyrosequencing.