AuthorJordan, Fiona Lya
AdvisorMaier, R. M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractUnderstanding the extent of microbial transport, distribution and activity in the subsurface is paramount for effective in-situ bioremediation. In one study, we investigated the impact a substrate pulse has on the movement of inoculated or indigenous bacteria through saturated porous media. In another study, we developed a method to visualize the distribution of bacteria on soil surfaces. The elution of either inoculated or indigenous bacteria was monitored from model (homogenous) sand or natural (heterogenous) soil column systems. Sand columns receiving salicylate resulted in enhanced elution of inoculated P. putida. However, the salicylate pulse did not result in enhanced elution of P. putida from a natural system. For natural heterogenous systems, the salicylate pulse significantly affected the elution of certain indigenous bacteria. Specifically, more heterotrophs were eluted from soil columns receiving salicylate than from those that did not for both loamy sand soils tested. On the other hand, there were consistently fewer salicylate-degrading cells eluted in the presence of salicylate from one of the two soils tested. These data suggest that bacterial transport is a function of both the porous medium and the microbial population(s) under investigation. In the second study, an agar lift-DNA/DNA hybridization technique was developed to visualize the distribution of eubacteria on soil surfaces. Briefly, a single layer of soil was lifted from the surface of soil microcosms onto agar slabs and allowed to incubate. Bacterial colonies were lifted from the agar slabs onto membranes. The location of individual colonies was detected on the membranes by hybridization with a probe complementary to a conserved region of the eubacterial genome. This method was able to detect active microorganisms on different soil surfaces. The probe signal correlated well with the number of metabolically active microorganisms found in soils amended with a carbon source. This technique also allowed for visualization of localized microbial activity. A combined approach utilizing both soil column studies and the agar-lift technique should allow researchers to better elucidate microbial transport, distribution and activity in subsurface environments.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Soil, Water and Environmental Science