Start date:
October 2012
End date:
January 2013
Taylor and Wright Valleys
Principle Investigator:
Cristina Takacs-Vesbach
University of New Mexico
Because the McMurdo Dry Valley (MDV) soil bacterial community this is a microbially dominated system, knowing what fraction of the microbial diversity of the region is active and what functional role it plays is critical to understanding the ecology of the MDV. Equipped with recent advances in molecular microbial ecology techniques including highly sensitive techniques like pyrosequencing and stable isotope probing, researchers can now directly study the active members of a community, even in a low biomass system like the MDV. This project will investigate the active portion of the MDV bacterial community using an integrated molecular ecology approach to (1) identify active members; (2) determine their metabolic functions in situ; and (3) develop a habitat suitability model describing the abiotic controls on bacterial activity. The overall objective of this project will be to identify active members of the Dry Valley soil microbial community and determine their ecological role.