Home > Research > Project Summary
link: GCRC homepage

Plasmids as BioMarkers to Access Coastal Ecosystem Health and Environmental Quality

PI: Patricia Sobecky (School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA)

Support: Georgia Sea Grant College Program (R/AT-8-PD)

Timeframe: 3/1/00 - 2/28/02 (complete)

Project Overview:
The objectives of this project development grant were to :

  • Develop plasmid specific probes to monitor plasmid populations
  • Validate the use of indigenous plasmids for use as biomarkers to assess ecosystem health
  • Provide new and innovative tools to assess microbial community structure and function in coastal habitats

We have developed a new molecular based method to assess plasmid diversity in coastal ecosystems and isolated six new functional plasmid replication origins from plasmid-bearing marine bacteria cultivated from coastal Georgia and South Carolina sediments. Two peer-reviewed publications describing our findings and the new method have resulted in part from this study.

Cook, M.A., A.M. Osborn, J.A. Bettandorff, and P.A. Sobecky. 2001. Endogenous isolation of replicon probes for assessing plasmid ecology of marine sediment microbial communities. Microbiology 147:2089-2101.

Beeson, K.E., D.L. Erdner, C.E. Bagwell, C.R. Lovell, and P.A. Sobecky. 2002. Differentiation of plasmids in marine diazotroph assemblages determined by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis. Microbiology 148:179-189.

Please keep us current by submitting updates and new project summaries.

Contact us
This page was updated June 27, 2014