Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

Eric Gillock

Abstract

The discovery of microorganisms inhabiting extreme environments such as deep ocean vents, hot springs, and salt marshes has led to the development of a new science termed astrobiology, the study of the origin of life in the universe. These microorganisms, or extremophiles, are viewed by astrobiologists as ideal models of survival away from our planet. In addition, research on extreme halophiles recently has expanded the possibility of introducing new biomedical, biotechnological, and bioremediation applications. This study focused on halophilic bacteria present within two salt marshes at Quivira national Wildlife Refuge in central Kansas, Halophilic bacteria were initially isolated on 12% Modified Growth Medium (MGM). Isolated organisms were grown in pure culture and distinguished with 16S PCR-RFLP (Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) analysis using two restriction endonucleases. A pool of bacterial isolates was submitted to LIDI-LAB in Newark, Delaware for DNA matching and GenBank identification. Organisms were further characterized based on salt tolerance, production of orange pigmentation, fermentation of mannitol, light microscopy for Gram reaction, and scanning electron microscopy for finer details. Light microscopy identified the organisms as Gram positive rods. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) gave a finer detail of the isolates and confirmed their rod morphology. MIDI-Lab GenBank identification results revealed the organisms to be closely related to five bacterial species: Hallobacillus trueperi EU624420, Hallobacillus profundi AB189298, and Hallobacillus sp. AY505519.

Rights

Copyright 2009 Claudia M. Da Silva Carvalho

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

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