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Developing quantitative abundance metrics for microbial communities
Goodney, Gabriel A.
The indoor environment provides numerous microhabitats dependent on the materials and conditions that comprise them. Four different building materials underwent natural indoor inoculation in two Chicago homes. These materials were then incubated under two conditions, dry or wet, to view if material and condition affected microbial growth. Microbial growth was investigated in two ways; the first, involved performing bacterial and virus-like particle counts, via epifluorescent microscopy to determine absolute abundance on material, while the second, used 16S and ITS sequence data with a Bayesian Network analysis to create microbial co-occurrence networks. The co-occurrence networks display what bacteria and fungi are present and how they are interacting with each other dependent on the materials and conditions. Materials under the wet condition show significant increases in growth in both the absolute counts, as well as, within the co-occurrence networks. This implies damp, wet conditions within buildings, similar to areas where there may be leaks or any type of excess moisture. Pseudomonas and Bacillus are the two main contributors in these microbe communities, often competing between each other. These interactions are to be investigated further by intentional inoculation to determine how they are interacting and competing over time.
Bioinformatics And Medical Informatics
Biological and Medical Informatics Research Center
Master of Science (M.S.) San Diego State University, 2017
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