Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Room: Park Tower 8212
Rebecca Hernandez - University of Texas at Austin
Co-Author(s): Dr. Salina Parveen, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD; Ms. Detbra Rosales, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD; Ms. Joan Meredith, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD
Among the abundance of marine life in the Chesapeake Bay (CB) and Maryland Coastal Bays (MCB), oysters are a significant component to the region’s ecosystem and economy. In recent years, research has shown that a pathogenic bacterium, Shewanella, has been found in oyster meat and seawater. As a result, multiple cases of severe Shewanella infections have been reported around the world. In this investigation, oysters and seawater in the CB and MCB will be tested in order to identify a prevalence of Shewanella. It is hypothesized that pathogenic species of Shewanella will be found in oyster meat or seawater. In this investigation, oysters and seawater samples were processed and grown on iron agar (IA) and tryptic soy agar (TSA). Samples were later tested for identification with an API test and hemolysis through plating on blood agar. It was determined that Shewanella grew better on IA than TSA, Shewanella was more prevalent in oysters than seawater, and samples with presumptive Shewanella experienced beta hemolysis the most, which indicates pathogenic properties. Additionally, when tested for identification, more than half of the samples were identified as Shewanella putrefaciens which is a pathogenic species of Shewanella.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF REU program, NSF CREST, and USDA.
Faculty Advisor: Salina Parveen, email@example.com
Role: I performed every portion of the experiment except for sample collection. This included sample processing, executing the procedure for testing for shewanella bacteria, and recording and analyzing data.