DIVERSITY OF ARCHAEA FROM THREE FORESTED ECOSYSTEMS IN GSMNP

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Philip Jon Drummond (Creator)
Institution
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/

Abstract: Prokaryotes are vital to the survival of all life on Earth since they control the cycles of many elements including carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, etc. The study of the Archaea has resulted in numerous novel metabolic discoveries, most from extreme environments; however, little is known about archaea and their roles intemperate ecosystems. DNA was extracted directly from soil from three forested ecosystems in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and was used to characterize community structure using molecular techniques including PCR followed by molecular cloning and restriction fragment length polymorphism(RFLP) analysis, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and DNA sequencing. Seventeen archaea were sequenced, including species aligned to the phylum Crenarchaea, which so far contains only one organism cultured from a non-extreme environment. Overlap was seen between clones sampled from multiple sites and from DGGE banding patterns, indicating that some archaeal species are widespread . The extent of archaeal diversity is unknown and is thought to be dwarfed by bacteria; however, our understanding of archaea is limited due to their resistance to being cultivated. Obtaining a baseline of diversity in this group should ultimately help yield isolated species for further study of their unique metabolisms and biochemical properties.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2006

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