Discipline: Biological Sciences
Adriana Rodriguez - Texas Southern University
Co-Author(s): Maruthi Sridhar Balaji Bhaskar, Department of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX; Jason A. Rosenzweig, Department of Biology, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX
Recently, Houston, Texas was plagued with unprecedented floods brought on by Hurricane Harvey. All of Harris county bayous experienced varying degrees of flooding. The goal of our study is to examine and characterize the bacterial presence from the Halls Bayou waters (pre-flooding), located in north central Harris County. The Halls Bayou is approximately 20 miles in length and is a major tributary of Greens Bayou. The Halls Bayou watershed – or the geographical region that drains into Halls Bayou – is approximately 45 square miles in size and supports a population of more than 160,000 people. This watershed collects storm water runoff from the Veterans Memorial Drive area and extends downstream all the way to Greens Bayou at the City of Houston’s Brock Park. The objectives of this study are to 1) Monitor the historical water quality data of Halls Bayou, 2) Analyze and characterize the bacterial contamination, nutrient and heavy metal concentrations in the water and soil samples and 3) Analyzing the cytotoxic effects of the Bayou water on the gut epithelial cells. Historical water quality data from the past three decades of Halls Bayou was downloaded from the USGS database and analyzed for time series analysis. Water and soil samples were analyzed for the nutrient and metal concentrations using the ICP-MS, Total C and N analyzer instruments. From inoculated soil samples bacterial colonies were also isolated and identified using the Biolog Micro station II. Bacterial colonies were isolated form the collected water samples and identified. Bayou isolates were then used to challenge HT29 gut epithelial cells to determine their infectivity and proliferation rates. Our work emulates the bacterial fate following a modeled ingestion through interactions with gut epithelial cells. The historical data analysis showed that bacterial contamination increased with time while the metal and nutrient concentration decreased. Our C and N analysis indicated that the concentrations increased from upstream to downstream along the Halls Bayou. Our bacterial counts showed that the concentrations were higher along the downstream compared to the upstream. Our bacterial data will provide insights into the environmental and ecological health of this intensely urbanized watershed. This research was primarily supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Texas Southern University (TSU) under the award numbers HRD-1400962 and HRD-1622993.Not Submitted
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This study was supported, in part, by the grant from National Science Foundation (NSF) Targeted Infusion and Research Initiation grants to Maruthi Sridhar Balaji Bhaskar, Jason Rosenzweig and Shishir Shishodia, Texas Southern University, Houston TX 77004
Faculty Advisor: Jason Rosenzweig, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I collected historical data for Halls Bayou form the USGS website and organized according to date and its physical, nutrients, metals, and bacteria. Water and soil samples were then retrieved from the Halls Bayou in order from upstream to downstream. For Microbial Analysis:Serial dilution and spread method was utilized to establish a viable bacteria count. For Cellular Analysis: Cytotoxic effect (MTT Assay) was done to determine any cellular viability in the presence of the bayou water.