This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. The goal of my project is to understand the metabolic activity that supports microbial growth under extreme starvation. In understanding the interactions and processes that sustain microbial communities in starved environments, we hope to better understand one of the outstanding questions of microbial ecology: why are the majority of organisms identified in the environment unculturable in the laboratory? This unculturability is presumed to be due to the inability to reproduce the fastidious growth requirements of many of these species, making them viable within the environment, but unculturable under laboratory conditions. Through this proposal, we aim to test our hypothesis that microbial communities subsist in extremely oligotrophic environments by establishing mutualistic interactions, allowing species to more efficiently utilize the complex nutrient sources entering the system. While such interactions may promote diversity under extreme starvation, obligate mutualism prevents cultivation of these species using traditional techniques. The experiments proposed are geared toward understanding the role that the amount and type of available energy entering these systems have on community diversity and mutualism.
The specific aims are: 1) to determine whether microbial mutualistic interactions are occurring under extreme starvation conditions and what role they play in supporting community growth;2) to determine whether such mutualism increases the usable energy sources and metabolic efficiency under extreme starvation, driving community diversity;and 3) to increase the number of previously unculturable bacterial species from these extremely oligotrophic environments by separating previously interdependent species. By using a combination of techniques to monitor how nutrient flow affects community diversity, we endeavor to understand some of the more complex metabolic interactions capable of supporting life under starvation, while increasing the diversity and number of culturable microbial species.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Type
Exploratory Grants (P20)
Project #
5P20RR016481-11
Application #
8360103
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-RI-4 (01))
Project Start
2011-05-01
Project End
2012-04-30
Budget Start
2011-05-01
Budget End
2012-04-30
Support Year
11
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$63,877
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Louisville
Department
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
057588857
City
Louisville
State
KY
Country
United States
Zip Code
40292
Green, Kimberly A; Becker, Yvonne; Fitzsimons, Helen L et al. (2016) An Epichloë festucae homologue of MOB3, a component of the STRIPAK complex, is required for the establishment of a mutualistic symbiotic interaction with Lolium perenne. Mol Plant Pathol 17:1480-1492
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Becker, Yvonne; Eaton, Carla J; Brasell, Emma et al. (2015) The Fungal Cell-Wall Integrity MAPK Cascade Is Crucial for Hyphal Network Formation and Maintenance of Restrictive Growth of Epichloë festucae in Symbiosis With Lolium perenne. Mol Plant Microbe Interact 28:69-85
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