Title

Isolation and Characterization of Novel Halo-Acidophilic Microorganisms Present in Hypersaline Lakes from Western Australia

Presenter Information

Ava Hughes

Department

Biological Sciences

Major

Biological Sciences; Geology and Geophysics

Research Advisor

Mormile, Melanie R.

Advisor's Department

Biological Sciences

Funding Source

NASA-EPSCoR

Abstract

The microbial communities in the acidic hypersaline environments in Lake Magic, Lake Gounter, Lake Gneiss, and Lake Aerodrome in Western Australia are currently unknown. These lakes are of interest due to their pH and salt concentrations, recorded to be between 1.4-3.5 pH and 13-32% salt concentration. The lakes are also ephemeral, which effects the salt concentration based on how much water is in the lake. With these extreme conditions, it is likely that novel species of microorganisms will be isolated from the sediments taken from the lakes. There have been microorganisms found to be acidophilic and halo-tolerant but not halo-acidophilic. Retrieved isolates are expected to be in this new category extremophiles, leading us to a new understanding of extremophiles while pushing the envelope of where life can thrive.

Biography

Ava Hughes is a junior in Biological Sciences and has been performing research in Dr. Mormile’s lab since August 2013. She is involved in Residential Life, being a Resident Assistant and Senior Resident Assistant. She is also the secretary/treasurer of National Residence Hall Honorary and a member of Phi Sigma, a biological honor society. She plans on going to graduate school and getting a doctorate in environmental sciences and conservation.

Research Category

Sciences

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hall

Presentation Date

15 Apr 2015, 9:00 am - 11:45 am

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Apr 15th, 9:00 AM Apr 15th, 11:45 AM

Isolation and Characterization of Novel Halo-Acidophilic Microorganisms Present in Hypersaline Lakes from Western Australia

Upper Atrium/Hall

The microbial communities in the acidic hypersaline environments in Lake Magic, Lake Gounter, Lake Gneiss, and Lake Aerodrome in Western Australia are currently unknown. These lakes are of interest due to their pH and salt concentrations, recorded to be between 1.4-3.5 pH and 13-32% salt concentration. The lakes are also ephemeral, which effects the salt concentration based on how much water is in the lake. With these extreme conditions, it is likely that novel species of microorganisms will be isolated from the sediments taken from the lakes. There have been microorganisms found to be acidophilic and halo-tolerant but not halo-acidophilic. Retrieved isolates are expected to be in this new category extremophiles, leading us to a new understanding of extremophiles while pushing the envelope of where life can thrive.