Project Title

Assessment of Bacterial Communities in Soils with Different Levels of Lead (Pb)

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Thomas McElroy

Additional Faculty

Sigurdur Greipsson, EEOB, sgreipss@kennesaw.edu Marina Koether, Chemistry and Biochemistry, mkoether@kennesaw.edu

No Human subjects or vertebrate animals

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Soil lead (Pb) contamination is a recognized global health problem that has been shown to have adverse effects on human health. DNA metabarcoding provides high-throughput, taxonomic identification of community assemblages. This technique can estimate the biodiversity and relative abundance of bacteria in soils, and it can identify indigenous/ unique soil microorganisms within sampled locations. We did a preliminary assessment of the effects of Pb contamination on the microbiome of three sites in Georgia, USA. Soils with different levels of Pb-contamination were collected from: Decatur (20 ppm Pb), Hickory Grove (90 ppm Pb); Cedartown (3800 ppm Pb). Three sub-samples were collected from each location. We hypothesized that, as Pb levels increased in the soil: (1) diversity of soil microbes would decline, (2) diversity among samples would increase,

Whole genomic DNA was extracted from ninety soil samples (10 from each sub-sample; 5 switchgrass root samples and associated soil; 5 soil samples) with ZYMO RESEARCH Fecal/ Soil Microbe DNA extraction kit. Five samples from each extraction group were pooled (total of 18 pooled samples (9 for 16S bacteria, 9 for root bacteria). Whole genomic DNA samples were 16S and 18S sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq platform and analysis included sequencing data output, sequence clustering into operational taxonomic units (OTU), diversity analyses, species classification and relative abundance analyses.

Distinct soil microbial communities were detected amongst the three sites. Bacterial species abundance was not significantly impacted (20%) by the increased level of Pb. Bacterial communities showed some similarities among sites. The total number of species (OTU) detected at each site was not adversely affected by soil Pb level. In total, approximately 2000 species were identified and only some were found at all three sites. The Shannon similarity index suggested that bacterial communities were dis-similar among sites.

Project Type

Poster

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Assessment of Bacterial Communities in Soils with Different Levels of Lead (Pb)

Soil lead (Pb) contamination is a recognized global health problem that has been shown to have adverse effects on human health. DNA metabarcoding provides high-throughput, taxonomic identification of community assemblages. This technique can estimate the biodiversity and relative abundance of bacteria in soils, and it can identify indigenous/ unique soil microorganisms within sampled locations. We did a preliminary assessment of the effects of Pb contamination on the microbiome of three sites in Georgia, USA. Soils with different levels of Pb-contamination were collected from: Decatur (20 ppm Pb), Hickory Grove (90 ppm Pb); Cedartown (3800 ppm Pb). Three sub-samples were collected from each location. We hypothesized that, as Pb levels increased in the soil: (1) diversity of soil microbes would decline, (2) diversity among samples would increase,

Whole genomic DNA was extracted from ninety soil samples (10 from each sub-sample; 5 switchgrass root samples and associated soil; 5 soil samples) with ZYMO RESEARCH Fecal/ Soil Microbe DNA extraction kit. Five samples from each extraction group were pooled (total of 18 pooled samples (9 for 16S bacteria, 9 for root bacteria). Whole genomic DNA samples were 16S and 18S sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq platform and analysis included sequencing data output, sequence clustering into operational taxonomic units (OTU), diversity analyses, species classification and relative abundance analyses.

Distinct soil microbial communities were detected amongst the three sites. Bacterial species abundance was not significantly impacted (20%) by the increased level of Pb. Bacterial communities showed some similarities among sites. The total number of species (OTU) detected at each site was not adversely affected by soil Pb level. In total, approximately 2000 species were identified and only some were found at all three sites. The Shannon similarity index suggested that bacterial communities were dis-similar among sites.