TitleThe role of dissolved organic matter in structuring microbial community composition
NameSipler, Rachel Elizabeth (author), Seitzinger, Sybil (chair), Schofield, Oscar (co-chair), Bidle, Kay (internal member), Kirkpatrick, Gary (outside member), Glibert, Patricia (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Water--Organic compound content
DescriptionDissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important source of nutrients in aquatic systems contributing to the growth of phytoplankton and bacteria. The overall response appears to be driven by the phytoplankton and bacteria species present as well as the composition of DOM provided. This dissertation explores the bioavailability of allochthonous and autochthonous DOM sources to, and its affect on, the growth of marine phytoplankton and bacterial community abundance and composition.
This research utilizes advanced chemical (electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS)) and molecular (terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP)) techniques to characterize the DOM and microbial community. To investigate the role of allochthonous DOM in phytoplankton growth, DOM from two different riverine sources from watersheds with different land use practices, was supplied to a natural cyanobacteria population. The bioavailability of autochthonous DOM was investigated by supplying DOM produced by a single culture of cyanobacteria to a natural dinoflagellate bloom community. The potential negative effect of an individual autochthonous DOM compound was investigated through the addition of marine toxin, brevetoxin, to three different natural bacterial communities.
This dissertation resulted in the first ESI-MS characterization spectra of the DOM associated with three different natural phytoplankton blooms, a culture of cyanobacteria, and two different South Florida rivers. It was also the first study to identify previously uncharacterized allochthonous and autochthonous DOM masses bioavailable to natural marine phytoplankton communities. Bulk level analyses within these experiments quantified lower limits for the bioavailability of allochthonous and autochthonous DOM sources and the relative community response to each of these sources. This dissertation also represents the first molecular evaluation of the bacteria associated with a bloom and the first investigation of the allelopathic properties of brevetoxin. It has discussed and applied the use of ESI-MS to investigate the bioavailability of complex DOM, identified and quantified potential nutrient sources and linked marine toxin production to changes in bacterial community composition.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Rachel Elizabeth Sipler
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work