Project Title

Myxobacteria in Acidic Environments

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Ramya Rajagopalan

Disciplines

Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Myxobacteria are Gram-negative predatory bacteria primarily found in soil. Using gliding motility, Myxobacteria work as a pack to locate and attack their prey using lytic exoenzymes to kill the prey for nutrients. However, when no nutrients are available, this can cause the formation of fruiting bodies and spores to help with the survival of the bacteria. Previously, Myxobacteria have only been isolated in biomes of neutral pH and they were believed not to thrive in acidic soils. In this experiment, we collected forty-eight soil samples from two different biomes, forest and savannah, from the Sheffield wildlife management area. There biomes have a very acidic soil pH (between 4.5 to 5.5). We screened the soil samples by PCR using primers specific to the 16S ribosomal RNA genes of two Myxobacterial sub-orders: Cystobacterineae and Sorangiineae/ Nannocystineae. After we ran these tests, many of the samples tested positive indicating Myxobacterial presence in both the forest and savannah biomes which in our case have an acidic ph. We have thus far successfully isolated two wild myxobacteria from these biomes. These new species of myxobacteria could possibly perform differently in its more acidic environment perhaps with different predation capabilities.

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Myxobacteria in Acidic Environments

Myxobacteria are Gram-negative predatory bacteria primarily found in soil. Using gliding motility, Myxobacteria work as a pack to locate and attack their prey using lytic exoenzymes to kill the prey for nutrients. However, when no nutrients are available, this can cause the formation of fruiting bodies and spores to help with the survival of the bacteria. Previously, Myxobacteria have only been isolated in biomes of neutral pH and they were believed not to thrive in acidic soils. In this experiment, we collected forty-eight soil samples from two different biomes, forest and savannah, from the Sheffield wildlife management area. There biomes have a very acidic soil pH (between 4.5 to 5.5). We screened the soil samples by PCR using primers specific to the 16S ribosomal RNA genes of two Myxobacterial sub-orders: Cystobacterineae and Sorangiineae/ Nannocystineae. After we ran these tests, many of the samples tested positive indicating Myxobacterial presence in both the forest and savannah biomes which in our case have an acidic ph. We have thus far successfully isolated two wild myxobacteria from these biomes. These new species of myxobacteria could possibly perform differently in its more acidic environment perhaps with different predation capabilities.

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