Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Room: Exhibit Hall
Rosheen Simpson - Bowie State University
Co-Author(s): Joshua Stephenson, Bowie State University, Bowie, MD; Alvin Atuonah, Bowie State University, Bowie, MD; Valdel Lekane Tedjouteu, Bowie State University, Bowie, MD; Constance Ihearahu, Towson University, Towson, MD; Dr. Bruce Nash, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor, NY; Dr. George Ude, Bowie State University, Bowie, MD
Metagenomics is the application of metabarcoding technique to the study of communities of microbial organisms directly in their natural environments, which bypasses the need for isolation and laboratory cultivation of individual species. Soil microbiome is one of the world’s largest collection of biodiversity and the microorganisms play critical roles in the regulation of soil fertility, carbon cycle, nitrogen fixation, etc., yet a vast majority of soil microorganisms is still unknown. Using the metagenomics approach, soil microbial communities from three locations (Henry Circle Fountain, Loop Road Lake, and Loop Road Stream) on Bowie State University’s (BSU) campus were analyzed across all seasons (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Winter 2021, and Fall 2021). The aim of this research was to determine the impact of seasonal change on the diversity of BSU’s soil bacteria ecosystem and to identify its microbial diversity by season and location. It was hypothesized that samples collected during the Spring season would have an abundant, diverse group of microbes than in the other three seasons. For this research, DNA extraction was performed, followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using 16S index primers, and gel electrophoresis to determine successful amplification of PCR samples. Samples were sequenced and analyzed using DNA Subway’s Purple line. This line is designated for metabarcoding analysis and was used to identify microbial taxa and genetic variations within BSU’s microbial community. Season specific microbial groups as well as common soil microbial groups were identified. Results determined Proteobacteria as the most abundant phyla across all seasons and locations. Other abundant phyla identified were Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Acidobacteria, Nitrospirae, Actinobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Chloroflexi. Analysis also identified more diverse taxa during Fall and Spring seasons than in Winter and Summer seasons. It was determined that microbial communities were more diverse and active during transitional seasons (Fall and Spring) than in extreme seasons (Winter and Summer). Further literature analysis is needed to understand the purpose of these phyla in the environment and the impact its absence may cause.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF IUSE awarded to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Award#1821657, to Dr. Dave Micklos at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. George Ude, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I participated in the collection of soil samples from the different locations on the campus and performed DNA extraction as well. I also performed polymerase chain reaction on the samples and did gel electrophoresis to determine if samples amplified properly. I also participated in data analysis after the sequences were made available.