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Title: An investigation into the microbial ecology of alpine paleosols
Author: Pentlavalli, Prasanna
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 7171
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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Soil is the most complex microbiome on the Earth. Specifically, very little is known about the microbial ecology and functional diversity of alpine paleosols. This work focuses on the microbial ecology of pristine paleosol sediments from the Western Alps, at a location called the "Col de la Traversette". We found that: 1) Microbial ecology studies on the alpine paleosols with 16S rRNA pyrosequencing analysis revealed several relationships. There was a strong inverse correlation between the Acidobacteria and the Verrucomicrobia populations from diverse samples. There was also a positive correlation between Verrucomicrobia populations and pH. 2) Looking at functional genes in the sediments, the diversity of the ring hydroxylating dioxygenases (RHO) in the pristine paleosols showed the occurrence of unique enzymes that appear to have structural characteristics that are consistent with a role in the oxidation of phenolic substrates. 3) A comparative analysis of the RHO genes from pristine paleosols with a well-studied TOO-OF1 from Pseudomonas putida revealed a novel conserved residue Gly-264. 4) Furthermore, an ancient archaeological query about Hannibal crossing the Alps in 218BC to invade Roman Italy was addressed by finding microbiological evidence from this metagenomic study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available