Plasmids as BioMarkers to Access Coastal Ecosystem Health and Environmental
Patricia Sobecky (School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta,
Georgia Sea Grant
College Program (R/AT-8-PD)
- 2/28/02 (complete)
The objectives of this project development grant were to :
- Develop plasmid
specific probes to monitor plasmid populations
- Validate the
use of indigenous plasmids for use as biomarkers to assess ecosystem health
- Provide new
and innovative tools to assess microbial community structure and function
in coastal habitats
We have developed a new molecular based method to assess plasmid diversity
in coastal ecosystems and isolated six new functional plasmid replication origins
from plasmid-bearing marine bacteria cultivated from coastal Georgia and South
Carolina sediments. Two peer-reviewed publications describing our findings and
the new method have resulted in part from this study.
Cook, M.A., A.M. Osborn, J.A. Bettandorff, and P.A. Sobecky. 2001. Endogenous
isolation of replicon probes for assessing plasmid ecology of marine sediment
microbial communities. Microbiology 147:2089-2101.
Beeson, K.E., D.L.
Erdner, C.E. Bagwell, C.R. Lovell, and P.A. Sobecky. 2002. Differentiation of
plasmids in marine diazotroph assemblages determined by randomly amplified polymorphic
DNA analysis. Microbiology 148:179-189.