Investigating the relationship between marine and air microbiome in Singapore
Lau, Kenny Jia Xu
Date of Issue2016
School of Biological Sciences
Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
Air-sea transfer is crucial for microbial dispersal and maintenance of diversity in the marine environments. Air may be viewed as a medium of transfer necessary for microorganisms to reproduce and disperse to new sites when the old site becomes overpopulated and nutrient-limiting. It is hypothesised that microorganisms are constantly aerosolised from surface seawater into the air by splashing water and wind. Nonetheless, the air is a hostile environment to live in due to abiotic stresses like desiccation and ultraviolet radiation. In this study, metagenomics sequencing was used to investigate the air-sea transfer of microorganisms from DNA isolated from marine and air environments. During Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) on 21 June 2015, samples were collected from different coastal sites around Singapore. The samples were sequenced and a set of common species was identified across marine and air samples. They include bacteria species such as Gemmatimonadetes bacterium, Gemmata obscuriglobus and Actinobacterium acAcidi, and fungal species, Rhizophagus irregularis, which are reported in previous studies to have abiotic stress adaptations. In addition, this study will also provide a basis for improvements and optimisation of sampling protocols for OSD 2016.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University