Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

Permafrost is a permanently frozen layer below the Earth’s surface, composed of soil, gravel and sand contained in ice. Ground is defined as permafrost that has been frozen for 2 years consecutively. Globally, permafrost environments account for the storage of 1672 petagrams of carbon. This carbon may be transformed to CO2 and CH4 by microbial processes as permafrost thaws. Few studies of permafrost microbial community composition have been completed in the Canadian Arctic, and no research has been conducted into the composition of the microbiome in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. In this study, permafrost cores were obtained from Cambridge Bay near the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS). Six cores were processed to remove contaminating non-permafrost material and split into top and bottom sections. DNA was extracted from 10 samples (0.70-0.90 g) and DNA was quantified. A PCR was then conducted to amplify the 16S rRNA gene, which is a typical marker used to identify bacteria. The samples then underwent gel electrophoresis to confirm the results of the PCR amplification and a second round of PCR was conducted to prepare the amplicons for sequencing. The resulting DNA was sequenced on the ION S5 sequencer in the TRUGen sequencing facility. A bioinformatics approach is being taken to describe the microbial community composition in the permafrost samples. This data will provide baseline information on microbial community characteristics in these soils that will inform future research evaluating the effects on the microbiome as temperatures in the Arctic continue to rise.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Eric Bottos

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The DNA of Cambridge Bay: An Analysis of the Microbial Community within the Permafrost Layer of Cambridge Bay, Canada

Permafrost is a permanently frozen layer below the Earth’s surface, composed of soil, gravel and sand contained in ice. Ground is defined as permafrost that has been frozen for 2 years consecutively. Globally, permafrost environments account for the storage of 1672 petagrams of carbon. This carbon may be transformed to CO2 and CH4 by microbial processes as permafrost thaws. Few studies of permafrost microbial community composition have been completed in the Canadian Arctic, and no research has been conducted into the composition of the microbiome in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. In this study, permafrost cores were obtained from Cambridge Bay near the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS). Six cores were processed to remove contaminating non-permafrost material and split into top and bottom sections. DNA was extracted from 10 samples (0.70-0.90 g) and DNA was quantified. A PCR was then conducted to amplify the 16S rRNA gene, which is a typical marker used to identify bacteria. The samples then underwent gel electrophoresis to confirm the results of the PCR amplification and a second round of PCR was conducted to prepare the amplicons for sequencing. The resulting DNA was sequenced on the ION S5 sequencer in the TRUGen sequencing facility. A bioinformatics approach is being taken to describe the microbial community composition in the permafrost samples. This data will provide baseline information on microbial community characteristics in these soils that will inform future research evaluating the effects on the microbiome as temperatures in the Arctic continue to rise.

 

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