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Plasmids as BioMarkers to Access Coastal Ecosystem Health and Environmental Quality


PI: Patricia Sobecky (School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA)

Support: Georgia Sea Grant College Program (R/AT-8-PD)

Timeframe: 3/1/00 - 2/28/02 (complete)

Project Overview:
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

Findings:
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.

Publications:
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.


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This page was updated June 27, 2014