Event Title

Elevated soil temperatures from a Pennsylvania coal mine fire are associated with the altered presence of antibiotic resistance, cell wall biosynthesis, and quorum sensing genes

Presenter Information

Brooke Grill

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Tammy Tobin

Start Date

24-4-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

24-4-2018 5:00 PM

Description

Centralia, a former mining location in Eastern Pennsylvania, is now known for its uncontrollable underground mine fire that began in 1962. Due to the resulting 56 year exposure to elevated soil temperatures, Centralia’s bacterial communities provide unique insights into how bacterial competition and communication respond to environmental warming. Shotgun metagenomic analysis of soil samples from affected, recovered, and unaffected sites was completed and Cluster of Orthologous Gene (COG) data was used to identify genes involved in antibiotic resistance, cell wall biosynthesis and quorum sensing. These analyses showed that the prevalence of multi-drug transport, beta-lactamase, antiporter, and aminoglycoside phosphotransferase genes were significantly correlated to soil temperature. Penicillin-binding proteins genes were also significantly correlated to soil temperature, as were competence proteins related to quorum sensing. Covariance analysis further suggests that these three classes of genes are interrelated. These results suggest that bacterial competition and communication may increase during times of thermal stress, and may result in increased levels of horizontal gene transfer.

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Apr 24th, 4:00 PM Apr 24th, 5:00 PM

Elevated soil temperatures from a Pennsylvania coal mine fire are associated with the altered presence of antibiotic resistance, cell wall biosynthesis, and quorum sensing genes

Centralia, a former mining location in Eastern Pennsylvania, is now known for its uncontrollable underground mine fire that began in 1962. Due to the resulting 56 year exposure to elevated soil temperatures, Centralia’s bacterial communities provide unique insights into how bacterial competition and communication respond to environmental warming. Shotgun metagenomic analysis of soil samples from affected, recovered, and unaffected sites was completed and Cluster of Orthologous Gene (COG) data was used to identify genes involved in antibiotic resistance, cell wall biosynthesis and quorum sensing. These analyses showed that the prevalence of multi-drug transport, beta-lactamase, antiporter, and aminoglycoside phosphotransferase genes were significantly correlated to soil temperature. Penicillin-binding proteins genes were also significantly correlated to soil temperature, as were competence proteins related to quorum sensing. Covariance analysis further suggests that these three classes of genes are interrelated. These results suggest that bacterial competition and communication may increase during times of thermal stress, and may result in increased levels of horizontal gene transfer.