Date of Award

5-1-2019

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Molecular Biology Microbiology and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Hamilton-Brehm, Scott

Abstract

Increasingly, microbial ecosystems of the deep continental subsurface are becoming recognized as their own distinct biome. However, access to isolated fractured rock ecosystems is limited to boreholes, mines, and springs. Analysis of these environments is most commonly accomplished through culturing independent methods involving 16S rRNA gene surveys. This provides an understanding of the biodiversity (Bacterial and Archaeal) and implies what functions communities are generally capable of metabolically on a global level. Characterization of the individual microorganisms that inhabit these environments is necessary for a more complete context of how biochemistry and geochemical interactions operate in the oligotrophic conditions of the subsurface.

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