Scala, D. Rutgers University,
Kerkhof, L. Rutgers University,

Denitrification is an important process affecting nitrogen availability in salt marshes. In this study, we used terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (TRFLP) to fingerprint denitrifying bacteria in 4 marsh habitats by tracking the nitrous oxide reductase gene (nos Z). Samples of surficial sediment were collected on 9/97 and 11/97 from a subtidal creek, in tall-form Spartina, short-form Spartina, and in Salicornia dominated parts of a salt marsh in Southern New Jersey. Enumeration of TRFLP peaks in the fingerprints allowed for pairwise comparisons of denitrifier population between habitats. Similarity indices across the habitats and times sampled ranged from 20-45%. A general trend was observed of greater similarity with proximity of habitat. For example, the denitrifier population in the subtidal creek on 11/97 was 32%, 26%, and 36% similar to the tall Spartina, the short Spartina, and the Salicornia parts of the marsh respectively. Alignment of fingerprints from the different sites revealed the specific nos Z genes common to all the various habitats and the nos Z genes unique to a specific site. Temporal variability was also observed between denitrifier populations. The approaches described here will greatly increase our understanding of the ecology of denitrifying bacteria in the marsh environment.
Day: Thursday, Feb. 4
Time: Poster
Location: Sweeney Center
Code: CS55TH1027S