We have sequenced the Sea Lion Genome thanks to the alumni of SDSU’s BIO596 class. Assembly and annotation of this massive Eukaryotic genome (~24 billion bp sequenced) is underway under Liz’s supervision. More information about this project can be found on our California Sea Lion Genome website.
Part of an international collaboration: ETSP OMZ.
OMZs are coastal marine areas that contain a hypoxic layer of <20 µM of dissolved oxygen. In the ETSP OMZ, microbes (small Eukaryotes, Bacteria, Archaea, and Viruses) metabolize nitrogen, carbon, and sulfur in the absence of oxygen. Sampling over three consecutive years, we have found that the ratio of virus-like particles to microbes fluctuates wildly in the anoxic layers and, unusually, reaches a 1:1 at some depths. Analysis of the prophage and viral communities from these unique marine habitats are in progress. These two viral metagenomes exhibit distinct community structures, indicating successful induction of OMZ prophages. Further analysis includes fine-grained investigation of the OMZ viral and prophage metabolism compared to the microbes.
Kelp forests are one of the most widespread and productive of all ecosystems. They provide habitat and nutrition to diverse communities of microorganisms, invertebrates, and mammals. Many kelp forests are dominated byMacrocystis pyrifera, a species of large brown algae that produce negatively charged polysaccharides on their cell surfaces. The polysaccharides allow Macrocystis to accumulate heavy metals such as copper, normally an essential element involved in cellular pathways. Brown algae in environments with higher levels of heavy metals, such as those near human activity, accumulate toxic levels of copper by producing larger amounts of polysaccharides. Toxic amounts of copper can then bioaccumulate up the food chain. Continue reading Copper Tolerance of Kelp-Associated Bacteria