Date of Award

8-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biological Sciences

Committee Member

Dr. Barbara Campbell, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. J. Michael Henson

Committee Member

Dr. Harry D. Kurtz, Jr.

Abstract

Bacteria dominate in abundance, diversity and potentially metabolic activity in many environments. Our current knowledge on the influence of specific individual taxa on these processes is largely lacking. To bridge these gaps, I chose three near complete metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from the Delaware Bay, phylogenetically associated with the Roseobacter clade, to compare the functional potential of the MAGs to their closest relatives. I also characterized the relative activity of one MAG by using normalized gene expression levels and differential gene expression. The normalized number of transcripts per sample revealed whether or not specific genes/pathways were being expressed at the time of sampling. In all of the different conditions that the samples were collected from, a high number of transcripts related to membrane transporters, energy metabolism and ribosomal proteins were observed for MAG 22. Differential expression was observed between environmental conditions including season, time of day and salinity. For differential gene expression, the significantly up or down regulation of gene transcription between environmental conditions was characterized to visualize any patterns in metabolism. My overall results indicate that the organism remains active throughout the year, however, the types of physiology it utilizes changes based on the conditions present.

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