Analysis of Bacterial DNA and Water Quality: Surface Water Sampling at Gardner-Webb University
Date of Award
Dr. David Campbell
Dr. Tom Jones
Part 1 of this experiment was to explore the bacterial types within the surface water on the campus of Gardner-Webb University, located in Boiling Springs, NC. Two water samples were collected from four locations on campus, including the boiling spring, Lake Hollifield, and an adjacent creek. Using the Zymo Research “Quick-DNA™ Fungal/Bacterial Miniprep Kit,” the bacterial DNA within these samples was isolated and sent to Psomagen, Inc. for analysis. The resulting DNA sequences were analyzed through BLAST, and subsequently interpreted. For the second part of this experiment, one surface water sample was taken from the boiling spring, and another was taken from Lake Hollifield. These samples were analyzed using the “HACH® Surface Water Test Kit” to determine the water quality. The factors tested for included pH, temperature, and nitrate, ammonia, orthophosphate, and dissolved oxygen levels.
A variety of bacterial strains were identified within this study. While the percent identity was not 100%, a mixture of bacterial types ranging from Limnohabitans, Clostridiales, Curvibacter, Rhodoferax, Vibrio, and Acidovorax displayed a percent identity ranging from approximately 80% to 99.5%, among dozens of other genera. The phylogenetic study revealed that the bacterial types discovered within all collection sites showed similarity to one another. Finally, it was revealed that the temperature and nitrate, ammonia, and dissolved oxygen levels were within the normal ranges for the two collected samples. However, the pH was slightly acidic, and the orthophosphate levels were above average. These results could yield information pertaining to present pollutants and their environmental impact.
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Reeder, Celsea, "Analysis of Bacterial DNA and Water Quality: Surface Water Sampling at Gardner-Webb University" (2020). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 40.