Title

Isolation & Characterization of Novel Halo-Acidophillic Microorganisms from Evaporites in Western Australia

Presenter Information

Katlyn Lonergan

Department

Biological Sciences

Major

Geology and Geophysics

Research Advisor

Mormile, Melanie R.

Advisor's Department

Biological Sciences

Funding Source

NASA EPSCoR, MS&T Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experience (OURE) Program

Abstract

The microbial communities in the acidic hypersaline environments in Lake Magic, 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. Halite and gypsum crystals form as evaporites as a crustal layer on the sediment. With these extreme conditions, it is likely that novel species of microorganisms will be isolated. There have been microorganisms found to be acidophilic and halo-tolerant but not halo-acidophilic. Retrieved isolates will be isolated from the halite, and in some cases, gypsum crystals from the various lakes mentioned above and are expected to be in this new category of extremophiles. This will lead us to a new understanding of extremophiles while pushing the envelope of where life can thrive.

Biography

Katlyn Lonergan is a senior undergraduate student in Geology and Geophysics with an emphasis in Biological Sciences. In Rolla, Katlyn is an active member of the campus C.L. Dake Geological Society and a proud employee of the USGS, Cartography Division. After graduation, Katlyn will continue her education at University of Colorado-Boulder earning her Masters in Environmental Science.

Research Category

Research Proposals

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

11 Apr 2016, 9:00 am - 11:45 am

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

Isolation & Characterization of Novel Halo-Acidophillic Microorganisms from Evaporites in Western Australia

Upper Atrium/Hallway

The microbial communities in the acidic hypersaline environments in Lake Magic, 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. Halite and gypsum crystals form as evaporites as a crustal layer on the sediment. With these extreme conditions, it is likely that novel species of microorganisms will be isolated. There have been microorganisms found to be acidophilic and halo-tolerant but not halo-acidophilic. Retrieved isolates will be isolated from the halite, and in some cases, gypsum crystals from the various lakes mentioned above and are expected to be in this new category of extremophiles. This will lead us to a new understanding of extremophiles while pushing the envelope of where life can thrive.