Characterization of the associated microorganisms of Thalassia
Characterization of the associated microorganisms of Thalassiatestudinum as an indicator of sea grass ecosystem health in Puerto Rico By: Manoj Saxena Laura L Fidalgo Ingrid Venero Vélez Coastal Environments Loretta Roberson, Ph.D.
Introduction SEA GRASS ECOSYSTEMS Primary producer Important for nutrient cycling Sea Grass- microbes interaction Habitats of many other species Bio indicators of environmental conditions
Goals and ObjectivesHypothesis: Fecal pollution has an impact on the composition anddiversity of the epiphytic microorganisms on Thalassia testudinum leaveseffecting its growth.Specific objectives:a) Characterize the composition and diversity of Thalassia testudinumassociated microorganisms in three different sites that range from minimalto heavy contamination.b) Evaluate the relation between degree of fecal pollution andconcentration of epiphytic coliform bacteria.c) Evaluate the biological productivity of Thalassia testudinum in each studysite.
Methodology Study sites Water quality gradient along San Juan Estuary (PEBSJ) Condado Lagoon (B +quality) San Juan Bay (B quality) San Jose (C quality) Control area: Jobos Bay (Natural Pristine System)
MethodologyMicrobial community structure Sea grass productivityData Source Data Source DNA from epiphytic microbial Morphometry of blades - Leaf communities on Thalassia leaves Area Index (LAI) Sequencing – Meta genomics Standing Crop Biomass - Blade production and turnover.Analysis Analysis Turnover will be calculated by Dendrogram cluster analysis- comparison dividing standing crop by production of microorganism community value. composition by sea grass bed area
Results and Potential Benefits Direct Defines microbial community of sea grass Thalassia testudinum Pollution effects on microbiota composition Knowledge of new plant- microbe interactions Bio-indicator Indirect Opens new research areas Potential discovery of new microbes species
Reference Celdrán, D., Espinosa, E., Sánchez-Amat, A., & Marín, A. (2012). Effects of epibiotic bacteria on leaf growth and epiphytes of the seagrass posidonia oceanica. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 456, 21-27. doi: 10.3354/meps09672 Merina, M., Lipton , A. P., & Godwin Wesley, S. (2011). Isolation, characterization and growth response of biofilm forming bacteria bacillus pumilus from the sea grass, halodule pinifolia off kanyakumari coast. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences, 40(3), 443-448. Mass mortality of the tropical seagrass Thalassia testudinum in Florida Bay (USA) MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES,Vol. 71: 297-299, 1991 Waycott M, et al. Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2009;106:12377–12381 Teena S. Michael, et al. A review of epiphyte community development: Surface interactions and settlement on seagrass,Journal of Environmental Biology, July 2008, 29(4) 629-638 (2008)
Time table Activity Year 1 Year 2 Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 1 Semester2 Sampling of sea X grass leaves Water sampling X Water quality X analysis DNA extraction X from sea grass samples PCR X amplification Sequencing X Statistical X X Analysis Writing X Manuscript