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Comparative Genomic and Molecular Characteristics of Bacteria in Frostburg, Maryland Soil

The microorganisms within the soil hold an essential role in the global cycling of elements and nutrient content available to support ecosystems. The biological fertility of soil is a highly complex and dynamic component of soil productivity and is the least well-understood component of soil functions. The main objective of this research was to identify bacterial communities in Frostburg soil and conduct further studies to understand their benefits for the ecosystems they live in. Twenty soil samples were collected from mature forests, grass lawns, forest swamps, meadows, and shrub swamps. The soil samples were homogenized, and two replicates were transported to the microbiology laboratory at Frostburg State University, Maryland for identification. The element composition of soil samples was detected by using the XRF and nitrate levels were measured with a nitrate ion selective electrode. DNA extraction from bacteria was performed using earth microbiome 16S Illumina sequencing protocol. The purity of the DNA was measured using nanodrop and gel electrophoresis. The average percentage of Fe in all the samples is over 57%, and Cr, K, S, and Ca are the other elements most abundant in the soil samples. Whereas nitrate levels in mature forest, grass lawn, forest swamp, meadow, and shrub swamp were 87, 121, 48, 127, and 88ppm, respectively. Nanodrop reading of A260/A280 were in the range of 1.85-1.87, and gel electrophoresis results had only one band per sample around 350bp. Bacteria were identified using the NCBI-BLAST tool and Metagenomics. The alpha and beta diversities were conducted using Qiime 2 with p<0.05. According to the BLAST analysis, many more uncultured bacteria were detected in the soil samples collected from the forest and grass lawn than in wetlands. The most common bacterial genera found in all samples were Shingomonas, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Bradyrhizobium, which are benefited in many ways including bioremediation, biodegradation, and nitrogen fixation. The Shannon-Wiener Index curve plot indicated sufficient sequencing depth to characterize microbial diversity. The comparison of genomics and molecule characteristics of bacteria in Frostburg, Maryland soil provided baseline data for further studies in relation to understanding the benefits of microbial growth, including the growth of plants.

Soil Bacteria, 16S Gene, Illumina Gene Sequencing

APA Style

Kumudini Apsara Munasinghe, Caley Donaldson, Bisrat Demissie, Andry Cantarero, Phillip Paul Allen. (2023). Comparative Genomic and Molecular Characteristics of Bacteria in Frostburg, Maryland Soil. International Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 8(3), 62-68.

ACS Style

Kumudini Apsara Munasinghe; Caley Donaldson; Bisrat Demissie; Andry Cantarero; Phillip Paul Allen. Comparative Genomic and Molecular Characteristics of Bacteria in Frostburg, Maryland Soil. Int. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2023, 8(3), 62-68. doi: 10.11648/j.ijmb.20230803.13

AMA Style

Kumudini Apsara Munasinghe, Caley Donaldson, Bisrat Demissie, Andry Cantarero, Phillip Paul Allen. Comparative Genomic and Molecular Characteristics of Bacteria in Frostburg, Maryland Soil. Int J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2023;8(3):62-68. doi: 10.11648/j.ijmb.20230803.13

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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