Project Title

The Soil Microbiome of the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Ramya Rajagopalan

Additional Faculty

Dr. Paula Jackson, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, pjackson@kennesaw.edu Dr. Heather Sutton, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, hsutton@kennesaw.edu Dr. Nicholas Green, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, ngreen62@kennesaw.edu

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Myxobacteria, a group of gram-negative rod-shaped predatory bacteria primarily found in soil, travel in wolf packs and exhibit social behavior. Myxobacteria then kill and lyse their prey using antimicrobial compounds and lytic exoenzymes and use the released nutrients to facilitate their growth. However, when there are no nutrients available, myxobacteria forms spores within fruiting bodies – a mechanism that is important to their survival. Myxobacteria are typically found in soils with a neutral pH level. However, we have detected myxobacterial presence in soil samples collected from the longleaf pine conservation area in Paulding County by PCR analysis. The isolation of novel myxobacteria is of great interest as they are a potential source of useful metabolites such as antimicrobial compounds. We collected forty-eight soil samples from the forest and savannah biomes at the Sheffield Wildlife Management Area located in Paulding County. The soil samples were highly acidic, with a pH range of 4.5-5.5. We extracted DNA from the soil samples and sent it for whole microbiome genomic analysis using 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing. The analysis revealed the presence of phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Acidobacteria, with Acidobacteria showing the greatest abundance in both biomes (25-35%). Taking a deeper look into the metagenomic data using Krona as a visualization tool, we were able to navigate further down the taxonomy pyramid starting from the Proteobacteria phylum to class Deltaproteobacteria, revealing the presence of myxobacteria in all forty-eight soil samples. We are using clinically significant and multidrug resistant bacteria such as Pseudomonas sp. to lure myxobacteria from the soil samples. So far, we have isolated two new types of wild myxobacteria from these soils. Due to the acidic environment in these biomes, the recently isolated types of myxobacteria could behave differently than myxobacteria found in neutral soils and serve as a source of novel antimicrobial compounds.

Disciplines

Microbiology

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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The Soil Microbiome of the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem

Myxobacteria, a group of gram-negative rod-shaped predatory bacteria primarily found in soil, travel in wolf packs and exhibit social behavior. Myxobacteria then kill and lyse their prey using antimicrobial compounds and lytic exoenzymes and use the released nutrients to facilitate their growth. However, when there are no nutrients available, myxobacteria forms spores within fruiting bodies – a mechanism that is important to their survival. Myxobacteria are typically found in soils with a neutral pH level. However, we have detected myxobacterial presence in soil samples collected from the longleaf pine conservation area in Paulding County by PCR analysis. The isolation of novel myxobacteria is of great interest as they are a potential source of useful metabolites such as antimicrobial compounds. We collected forty-eight soil samples from the forest and savannah biomes at the Sheffield Wildlife Management Area located in Paulding County. The soil samples were highly acidic, with a pH range of 4.5-5.5. We extracted DNA from the soil samples and sent it for whole microbiome genomic analysis using 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing. The analysis revealed the presence of phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Acidobacteria, with Acidobacteria showing the greatest abundance in both biomes (25-35%). Taking a deeper look into the metagenomic data using Krona as a visualization tool, we were able to navigate further down the taxonomy pyramid starting from the Proteobacteria phylum to class Deltaproteobacteria, revealing the presence of myxobacteria in all forty-eight soil samples. We are using clinically significant and multidrug resistant bacteria such as Pseudomonas sp. to lure myxobacteria from the soil samples. So far, we have isolated two new types of wild myxobacteria from these soils. Due to the acidic environment in these biomes, the recently isolated types of myxobacteria could behave differently than myxobacteria found in neutral soils and serve as a source of novel antimicrobial compounds.

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