Multidimensional "omics" characterization of microbial metabolism and dissolved organic matter in Antarctica
Uncovering the dynamics of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is central to an understanding of the global carbon cycle, as organic material from lakes, streams, oceans and soils passes through this pool. DOM acts as a key energy source for microbes in many ecosystems and therefore can affect regional nutrient cycling patterns. For example, preliminary results suggest that organisms isolated from a supraglacial stream on Cotton Glacier, Antarctica, may be important in DOM cycling in this relatively simple, low temperature system. However, little is known about the functional attributes of the microbes that interact with DOM in the environment. This project will use state-of-the-art genomics, proteomics and metabolomics approaches to understand the mechanisms by which two microbial isolates, CG3 and CG9_1, affect DOM cycling. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry will also be used to better characterize the microbially-derived DOM from this ecosystem. This project will support the research and training of one undergraduate and two graduate students. Results will be widely disseminated through publications as well as through presentations at national and international meetings. In addition, raw data will be made available through open-access databases. Understanding the relationship between cold-adapted microbial metabolisms and DOM pools is important as more than 90% of the Earth?s oceans are below 5 degrees Celsius.
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