2015 Beckman Symposium   

Edna Chiang

Presentation Date:
August-8-2015

Presenter:
Edna Chiang

Title:
Ecology of freshwater Verrucomicrobia, an abundant yet understudied bacterial phylum

Institution:
University of Michigan

Department:
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Description:
Since the advent of molecular techniques to describe bacterial diversity, recognized bacterial phyla have increased from an original 11 to now over 70; one of these newer classifications is Verrucomicrobia, which was first recognized as a phylum in 1997. Species of this group have been found to be involved in a variety of metabolic processes, including nitrogen fixation, methane oxidation, and complex carbon breakdown. The majority of Verrucomicrobia studies have been conducted in soil, where they are a ubiquitous and abundant group. They were first observed and later isolated from aquatic systems; however, very few freshwater studies have been conducted, and much remains to be learned about these bacteria. I will use molecular data to explore the diversity and distribution of Verrucomicrobia in 15 Michigan freshwater lakes of varying scales, physicochemical dynamics, and productivity levels. I will complement molecular analysis of seasonal and spatial microbial community samples with physical and geochemical data to help elucidate the drivers of Verrucomicrobia diversity and abundance. I hope my project will provide novel insight into the ecology of freshwater lineages of this abundant, yet understudied phylum.


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