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Title: An integrated analysis of Dead Sea microbiota
Author: Douglas, Iain Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 5350 0535
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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The investigation of extreme environments has accelerated in the last 3 decades with the advent of molecular techniques, allowing a greater insight into the diversity of microbial communities in these regions. These have allowed the discovery of new bacteria and a greater understanding into the interactions which occur between bacteria, fungi and archaea which are found in these environments. This study attempted to use a number of techniques common in microbial ecology in the analysis of samples taken from the Qedem region of the Dead Sea. The areas sampled showed high salinity, decreased pH and low redox potential. Forty strains were isolated from various environmental samples with optimisation of growth media for in vitro studies of these isolates. Phenotypic analysis showed a clear optimum salt requirement in the majority of the strains isolated. Using chemical based MALDI-TOF-MS technology the forty strains were analysed and compared according to their protein profiles. Principal Component analysis was used to show that the majority isolates were relatively tightly clustered depending on their salt requirements. Four cyanobacterial samples were analysed using both MALDI-TOF MS and 2D gel electrophoresis and a large number of eubacteria were also found to be present, showing the existence of communities. Two of the cyanobacterial samples, KM8 from a shoreline spring and KM39 from a submarine spring, were analysed using ION Torrent next generation sequencing technology and the multiple databases of the MG-RAST pipeline. This showed a diverse species range present in the samples based on the ribosomal databases used. When the samples were analysed using protein databases, archaea including methanogens were found in the samples. A number of springs of the Qedem region were analysed using 454 pyrosequencing and showed a high level of variation in the microbial communities. Overall this study has shown there are various rich and diverse microbial communities within the Qedem area of the Dead Sea.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Microorganisms