Atkins, M. S. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, matkins@whoi.edu
Teske, A. P. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, ateske@whoi.edu

 
THE APPLICATION OF MOLECULAR-BASED METHODS, PARTICULARLY DENATURING GRADIENT GEL ELECTROPHORESIS, IN ASSESSING THE DIVERSITY OF FLAGELLATES AT DEEP-SEA HYDROTHERMAL VENTS
 
Flagellated protozoa are ubiquitous components of the complex microbial food webs found in every habitable environment on this planet. The presence and species richness of protozoan organisms has been documented throughout terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems worldwide. In shallow benthic and pelagic marine ecosystems the importance of protozoan associations in energy transfer through aquatic food webs has been well established. However, the ecological role of flagellates in less hospitable environments remains largely speculative. In one such extreme environment, the deep-sea hydrothermal vent, little is known about the diversity, abundance and distribution of these important microorganisms. Nucleic acid-based molecular methods are being developed to assess flagellate diversity, abundance and distribution at deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Eastern Pacific. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification of 18S rRNA genes was done in several species of flagellates isolated from each of four vent sites. Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) and DNA sequence analyses provided phylogenetic and other molecular information to further characterize these pure-culture isolates. Clade-specific primers to the 18S genes were designed using sequence information and applied in Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) to optimize maximum resolution of bands representing unique species. The results of this work and projected future applications will be presented.
 
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Time: 11:00 - 11:15am
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS27TU1115S