Title

Niche Partitioning And Utilization Of Different Nitrogen Sources By Marine Cyanobacteria Synechococcus

Date

11-8-2021 2:05 PM

Abstract

The Cyanobacterium Synechococcus plays a major role in the ocean’s biochemical processes and is responsible for a significant amount of primary production, especially around coastal areas. Synechococcus has a wide geographical distribution that includes both polar and high-nutrient waters. Within the genus, there are defined subpopulations that are ecologically distinct that allow them to niche partition the dynamic oceans. To further explore niche partitioning of Synechococcus, this project combines a bioinformatic and culture-based approach. I examined data along the North Pacific Subtropical Front (NSPF) to analyze the community structure. This analysis demonstrated that a particular ecotype identified as clade II (WH 8109) dominated the warmer, nutrient poor waters of the NSPF and was virtually absent in northern, cooler, nutrient-rich areas. This led to the hypothesis that clade II prefers warmer temperatures and nutrient-poor environments. To test this in the lab, representative cultures of clade II were grown in different media that contained variations of nitrogen and nutrient concentrations to reveal their response in growth patterns. These results will further explain the utilization of nitrogen sources and how ecotypes of Synechococcus are partitioned among related ecotypes.

Biographies

Angel Bui, Biochemistry

Angel Bui is majoring in biochemistry and a member of Anne Thompson’s Blue Water Microbial Lab at Portland State University, currently focusing her research on photosynthetic cyanobacteria. She is a current McNair and BUILD EXITO scholar. Her research interests are in fields of marine natural products, medicine, nanotechnology, and in general, finding sustainable solutions to coexist with the natural world. She believes that nature, through evolution, has solved many problems that cause or contribute to human diseases and that there are many things we can learn when we pay close attention. She enjoys hearing about other areas of research and finds it fascinating how communities can work together as a dynamic connective mesh, passing information on from one end of the world to the other working towards a common goal. She sees herself as a lifelong learner. In the near future, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in marine chemistry and geochemistry to continue to ask questions and build knowledge to share with the world.

Dr. Anne Thompson, Faculty Mentor, Department of Biology

Anne Thompson is a Research Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Portland State University. Thompson received her Ph.D. from the MIT- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Biological Oceanography and has held positions at UC Santa Cruz, BD Biosciences, and the Institute for Systems Biology prior to PSU. Thompson’s work illuminates the ecology of microorganisms in the Earth’s vast open oceans and how they contribute to energy and carbon flow on our planet.

Disciplines

Biochemistry

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/36204

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Aug 11th, 2:05 PM

Niche Partitioning And Utilization Of Different Nitrogen Sources By Marine Cyanobacteria Synechococcus

The Cyanobacterium Synechococcus plays a major role in the ocean’s biochemical processes and is responsible for a significant amount of primary production, especially around coastal areas. Synechococcus has a wide geographical distribution that includes both polar and high-nutrient waters. Within the genus, there are defined subpopulations that are ecologically distinct that allow them to niche partition the dynamic oceans. To further explore niche partitioning of Synechococcus, this project combines a bioinformatic and culture-based approach. I examined data along the North Pacific Subtropical Front (NSPF) to analyze the community structure. This analysis demonstrated that a particular ecotype identified as clade II (WH 8109) dominated the warmer, nutrient poor waters of the NSPF and was virtually absent in northern, cooler, nutrient-rich areas. This led to the hypothesis that clade II prefers warmer temperatures and nutrient-poor environments. To test this in the lab, representative cultures of clade II were grown in different media that contained variations of nitrogen and nutrient concentrations to reveal their response in growth patterns. These results will further explain the utilization of nitrogen sources and how ecotypes of Synechococcus are partitioned among related ecotypes.