E W Triplett

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States

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Publications (29)108.32 Total impact

  • A J Scupham, E W Triplett
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    ABSTRACT: The first aim was to determine those amino acid residues required for the biological activity of the potent peptide antibiotic, trifolitoxin (TFX). The second aim was to determine the concentrations of TFX1 and TFX2 that cause 50% inhibition of bacterial growth (Ki), the two predominant isomeric forms of TFX made by Rhizobium. Site-directed mutagenesis of tfxA was used to produce strains that made mutant TFX peptides. The mutant tfxA genes were placed on a vector and inserted in Rhizobium leguminosarum b. trifolii Tn54A112, a tfxA mutant of strain T24 that lacks trifolitoxin activity. Our standard bioassay was used to assess the activity of these mutants. TFX1 and TFX2 were purified by reverse phase chromatography. Several concentrations of each peptide were assayed for biological activity to determine Ki. The unmodified TFX peptide (DIGGSRQGCVA) was synthesized and was found to lack any biological activity. Four of the 11 amino acid residues in ribosomally synthesized, post-translationally modified peptide were required for TFX activity. These required amino acids include arginine (R37), glutamine (Q38), glycine (G39) and cysteine (C40). S36T and S36Y mutants showed reduced TFX activity. The numbering system is based on the 42-amino acid TfxA peptide that is post-translationally modified to form the active TFX peptide. The Ki of TFX2 was determined to be 10-fold lower than TFX1. The post-translational modifications of the TfxA peptide are required for biological activity. TFX2 is far more active than TFX1. The sequence of the TfxA peptide appears to have been optimized for maximum activity through the course of evolution. Even conservative changes to any of the amino acid residues required for activity results in a complete loss of activity. The understanding of the action of this peptide is critical for its proposed action as a control agent for crown gall disease.
    Journal of Applied Microbiology 04/2006; 100(3):500-7. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterioplankton community composition (BCC) was monitored in a shallow humic lake in northern Wisconsin, USA, over 3 years using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). Comparison of ARISA profiles of bacterial communities over time indicated that BCC was highly variable on a seasonal and annual scale. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis indicated little similarity in BCC from year to year. Nevertheless, annual patterns in bacterioplankton community diversity were observed. Trends in bacterioplankton community diversity were correlated to annual patterns in community succession observed for phytoplankton and zooplankton populations, consistent with the notion that food web interactions affect bacterioplankton community structure in this humic lake. Bacterioplankton communities experience a dramatic drop in richness and abundance each year in early summer, concurrent with an increase in the abundance of both mixotrophic and heterotrophic flagellates. A second drop in richness, but not abundance, is observed each year in late summer, coinciding with an intense bloom of the nonphagotrophic dinoflagellate Peridinium limbatum. A relationship between bacterial community composition, size, and abundance and the population dynamics of Daphnia was also observed. The noted synchrony between these major population and species shifts suggests that linkages across trophic levels play a role in determining the annual time course of events for the microbial and metazoan components of the plankton.
    Microbial Ecology 12/2004; 48(4):550-60. · 3.28 Impact Factor
  • Crop Management 01/2004;
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    ABSTRACT: Despite considerable attention in recent years, the composition and dynamics of lake bacterial communities over annual time scales are poorly understood. This study used automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) to explore the patterns of change in lake bacterial communities in three temperate lakes over 2 consecutive years. The study lakes included a humic lake, an oligotrophic lake, and a eutrophic lake, and the epilimnetic bacterial communities were sampled every 2 weeks. The patterns of change in bacterial communities indicated that seasonal forces were important in structuring the behavior of the bacterial communities in each lake. All three lakes had relatively stable community composition in spring and fall, but summer changes were dramatic. Summertime variability was often characterized by recurrent drops in bacterial diversity. Specific ARISA fragments derived from these lakes were not constant among lakes or from year to year, and those fragments that did recur in lakes in different years did not exhibit the same seasonal pattern of recurrence. Nonetheless, seasonal patterns observed in 2000 were fairly successful predictors of the rate of change in bacterial communities and in the degree of autocorrelation of bacterial communities in 2001. Thus, seasonal forces may be important structuring elements of these systems as a whole even if they are uncoupled from the dynamics of the individual system components.
    Microbial Ecology 12/2003; 46(4):391-405. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Species richness and species diversity of bacterioplankton, phytoplankton and protoplankton were examined in Crystal Bog, a humic lake in northern Wisconsin, as part of an NSF sponsored Microbial Observatory Program. Crystal Bog is part of the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research site. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) was used to assess bacterial diversity. Phytoplankton and protoplankton were enumerated in a settling chamber with an inverted microscope. Four distinct phases in the ice-free season of the bog can be recognized based on microbial populations. The first phase extends from ice-out until about the first week of April. During this phase three species of dinoflagellates come to dominate the phytoplankton, with Glenodinium quadridens representing 60% of total phytoplankton biovolume. By mid-April the spring dinoflagellate blooms collapse. The second phase is a period of instability as a series of species dominates the phytoplankton. In mid-July dinoflagellates again dominate the third phase, and Peridinium limbatum alone represents 90% of the bog phytoplankton. The fourth phase is a stable period as P. limbatum slowly declines in late summer and fall. A strong correlation was found between bacterial and phytoplankton diversity (Shannon–Weaver Index) in this bog, suggesting the two microbial communities are linked. The protoplankton, however, were relatively uniform throughout the ice-free period. The ice-covered period may be treated as a fifth phase. When snow accumulates over the ice-covered bog, light penetration is blocked and photosynthesis shut off. Heterotrophic protozoa assume dominance in the plankton.
    Journal of Phycology 03/2003; 38(s1):13 - 13. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    Y Dong, J D Glasner, F R Blattner, E W Triplett
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    ABSTRACT: In an effort to efficiently discover genes in the diazotrophic endophyte of maize, Klebsiella pneumoniae 342, DNA from strain 342 was hybridized to a microarray containing 96% (n = 4,098) of the annotated open reading frames from Escherichia coli K-12. Using a criterion of 55% identity or greater, 3,000 (70%) of the E. coli K-12 open reading frames were also found to be present in strain 342. Approximately 24% (n = 1,030) of the E. coli K-12 open reading frames are absent in strain 342. For 1.6% (n = 68) of the open reading frames, the signal was too low to make a determination regarding the presence or absence of the gene. Genes with high identity between the two organisms are those involved in energy metabolism, amino acid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, cofactor synthesis, cell division, DNA replication, transcription, translation, transport, and regulatory proteins. Functions that were less highly conserved included carbon compound metabolism, membrane proteins, structural proteins, putative transport proteins, cell processes such as adaptation and protection, and central intermediary metabolism. Open reading frames of E. coli K-12 with little or no identity in strain 342 included putative regulatory proteins, putative chaperones, surface structure proteins, mobility proteins, putative enzymes, hypothetical proteins, and proteins of unknown function, as well as genes presumed to have been acquired by lateral transfer from sources such as phage, plasmids, or transposons. The results were in agreement with the physiological properties of the two strains. Whole genome comparisons by genomic interspecies microarray hybridization are shown to rapidly identify thousands of genes in a previously uncharacterized bacterial genome provided that the genome of a close relative has been fully sequenced. This approach will become increasingly more useful as more full genome sequences become available.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 05/2001; 67(4):1911-21. · 3.68 Impact Factor
  • M.K. Chelius, E.W. Triplett
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    ABSTRACT: The diversity of bacteria and archaea associating on the surface and interior of maize roots (Zea mays L.) was investigated. A bacterial 16S rDNA primer was designed to amplify bacterial sequences directly from maize roots by PCR to the exclusion of eukaryotic and chloroplast DNA. The mitochondrial sequence from maize was easily separated from the PCR-amplified bacterial sequences by size fractionation. The culturable component of the bacterial community was also assessed, reflecting a community composition different from that of the clone library. The phylogenetic overlap between organisms obtained by cultivation and those identified by direct PCR amplification of 16S rDNA was 48%. Only 4 bacterial divisions were found in the culture collection, which represented 27 phylotypes, whereas 6 divisions were identified in the clonal analysis, comprising 74 phylotypes, including a member of the OP10 candidate division originally described as a novel division level lineage in a Yellowstone hot spring. The predominant group in the culture collection was the actinobacteria and within the clone library, the a-proteobacteria predominated. The population of maize-associated proteobacteria resembled the proteobacterial population of a typical soil community within which resided a subset of specific plant-associated bacteria, such as Rhizobium- and Herbaspirillum-related phylotypes. The representation of phylotypes within other divisions (OP10 and Acidobacterium) suggests that maize roots support a distinct bacterial community. The diversity within the archaeal domain was low. Of the 50 clones screened, 6 unique sequence types were identified, and 5 of these were highly related to each other (sharing 98% sequence identity). The archaeal sequences clustered with good bootstrap support near Marine group I (crenarchaea) and with Marine group II (euryarchaea) uncultured archaea. The results suggest that maize supports a diverse root-associated microbial community composed of species that for the first time have been described as inhabitants of a plant-root environment.
    Microbial Ecology 05/2001; 41(3):252-263. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a study of bacterioplankton in an oligotrophic lake in northern Wisconsin, a community fingerprinting technique, automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA), was used to determine the effect of resources and trophic interactions on bacterioplankton diversity. Inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus (NP), carbon in the form of glucose (G) or dissolved organic matter extracted from peat (DOM), and carbon and NP in combination were added to two types of experimental systems. Ten-liter mesocosms contained all components of the original aquatic community except for large zooplankton. One-liter dilution cultures were prepared so that the effects of grazers and phytoplankton were removed. During a 3-day incubation, bacterial production showed the greatest response to the carbon plus NP treatment in both experimental systems, but bacterial diversity was strikingly different between them. In the mesocosms, the number of ARISA-PCR fragments averaged 41 per profile, whereas the dilution culture communities were highly reduced in complexity, dominated in most cases by a single PCR fragment. Further analysis of the mesocosm data suggested that whereas the NPDOM addition caused the greatest aggregate bacterial growth response, the addition of NP alone caused the largest shifts in community composition. These results suggest that the measurement of aggregate responses, such as bacterial production, alone in studies of freshwater bacterial communities may mask the effects of resources on bacterioplankton.
    Microbial Ecology 09/2000; 40(2):125-138. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    M K Chelius, E W Triplett
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    ABSTRACT: A Gram-negative bacterium, designated NS114T, was isolated from duplicate treatments of surface-sterilized Zea mays stems. The plants were grown in synthetic soil under greenhouse conditions and watered with fertilizer containing no nitrogen. Strain NS114T could not be isolated from plants watered with the standard level or 20% (w/v) of the standard level of nitrogen. Cells occurred as pairs in young cultures that attached to form angled arrangements in R2A broth and occasionally formed rounded, horseshoe arrangements in YM broth. Cell variation resulted in flocculent chains of coccoid cells in old cultures. Strain NS114T fermented glucose and sucrose. The G + C content was 48 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene showed that the strain was a member of the domain Bacteria and branched from a point equidistant from an aquatic organism, Runella slithyformis and a marine isolate, 'Microscilla furvescens'. Phenotypic and genotypic analyses indicated that strain NS114T could not be assigned to any recognized genus; therefore a new genus and species, Dyadobacter fermentans gen. nov., sp. nov., is proposed, for which NS114T is the type strain.
    International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 04/2000; 50 Pt 2:751-8. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    M K Chelius, E W Triplett
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    ABSTRACT: The endophytic lifestyle of Klebsiella pneumoniae is described, including the production of dinitrogenase reductase by bacteria residing in maize root tissue. The green fluorescent protein (GFP) was used to detect the colonization of maize by K. pneumoniae strains 2028 and 342. These strains were found to reside in intercortical layers of the stem and within the region of maturation in the root. The production of dinitrogenase reductase by GFP-tagged bacteria was visualized using immunolocalization. This activity was only apparent when bacteria were supplied with an exogenous carbon source. The results suggest that maize provides a suitable habitat for K. pneumoniae and that this species is capable of producing nitrogenase under the appropriate plant cultivation conditions.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 03/2000; 66(2):783-7. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    M M Fisher, E W Triplett
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    ABSTRACT: An automated method of ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) was developed for the rapid estimation of microbial diversity and community composition in freshwater environments. Following isolation of total community DNA, PCR amplification of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region in the rRNA operon was performed with a fluorescence-labeled forward primer. ARISA-PCR fragments ranging in size from 400 to 1,200 bp were next discriminated and measured by using an automated electrophoresis system. Database information on the 16S-23S intergenic spacer was also examined, to understand the potential biases in diversity estimates provided by ARISA. In the analysis of three natural freshwater bacterial communities, ARISA was rapid and sensitive and provided highly reproducible community-specific profiles at all levels of replication tested. The ARISA profiles of the freshwater communities were quantitatively compared in terms of both their relative diversity and similarity level. The three communities had distinctly different profiles but were similar in their total number of fragments (range, 34 to 41). In addition, the pattern of major amplification products in representative profiles was not significantly altered when the PCR cycle number was reduced from 30 to 15, but the number of minor products (near the limit of detection) was sensitive to changes in cycling parameters. Overall, the results suggest that ARISA is a rapid and effective community analysis technique that can be used in conjunction with more accurate but labor-intensive methods (e.g., 16S rRNA gene cloning and sequencing) when fine-scale spatial and temporal resolution is needed.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 11/1999; 65(10):4630-6. · 3.68 Impact Factor
  • Marisa K. Chelius, E. W. Triplett
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    ABSTRACT:  Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were detected in uninoculated soil and roots of turfgrass (Agrostis palustris) by direct extraction and PCR amplification of the small subunit rRNA gene. Sequence analysis of the cloned PCR product confirmed the identity of the amplified DNA as an AMF sequence having 95% identity to Glomus intraradices. The sensitivity of the method was gauged by comparison with the most probable number analysis of infective propagules in an intensively managed turfgrass system having 56 propagules per 100 g soil. In contrast to the heavily managed system, infective propagule numbers were high in systems under moderate and limited management. The method described may be useful for rapid investigations of genetic diversity and community structure of AMF.
    Mycorrhiza 05/1999; 9(1):61-64. · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    EA Robleto, J Borneman, EW Triplett
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of antibiotic production on rhizosphere microbial communities of field-grown Phaseolus vulgaris were assessed by using ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Inoculum strains of Rhizobium etli CE3 differing only in trifolitoxin production were used. Trifolitoxin production dramatically reduced the diversity of trifolitoxin-sensitive members of the alpha subdivision of the class Proteobacteria with little apparent effect on most microbes.
    Applied and environmental microbiology 01/1999; 64(12):5020-2. · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rhizopine (L-3-O-methyl-scyllo-inosamine) is a symbiosis-specific compound found in alfalfa nodules induced by specific Sinorhizobium meliloti strains. It has been postulated that rhizobial strains able to synthesize and catabolize rhizopine gain a competitive advantage in the rhizosphere. The pathway of rhizopine degradation is analysed here. Since rhizopine is an inositol derivative, it was tested whether inositol catabolism is involved in rhizopine utilization. A genetic locus required for the catabolism of inositol as sole carbon source was cloned from S. meliloti. This locus was delimited by transposon Tn5 mutagenesis and its DNA sequence was determined. Based on DNA similarity studies and enzyme assays, this genetic region was shown to encode an S. meliloti myo-inositol dehydrogenase. Strains that harboured a mutation in the myo-inositol dehydrogenase gene (idhA) did not display myo-inositol dehydrogenase activity, were unable to utilize myo-inositol as sole carbon/energy source, and were unable to catabolize rhizopine. Thus, myo-inositol dehydrogenase activity is essential for rhizopine utilization in S. meliloti.
    Microbiology 11/1998; 144 ( Pt 10):2915-24. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A major barrier to the use of nitrogen-fixing inoculum strains for the enhancement of legume productivity is the inability of commercially available strains to compete with indigenous rhizobia for nodule formation. Despite extensive research on nodulation competitiveness, there are no examples of field efficacy studies of strains that have been genetically improved for nodulation competitiveness. We have shown previously that production of the peptide antibiotic trifolitoxin (TFX) by Rhizobium etli results in significantly increased nodule occupancy values in nonsterile soil in growth chamber experiments (E. A. Robleto, A. J. Scupham, and E. W. Triplett, Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 10:228-233, 1997). To determine whether TFX production by Rhizobium etli increases nodulation competitiveness in field-grown plants, seeds of Phaseolus vulgaris were inoculated with mixtures of Rhizobium etli strains at different ratios. The three nearly isogenic inoculum strains used included TFX-producing and non-TFX-producing strains, as well as a TFX-sensitive reference strain. Data was obtained over 2 years for nodule occupancy and over 3 years for assessment of the effect of the TFX production phenotype on grain yield. In comparable mixtures in which the test strain accounted for between 5 and 50% of the inoculum, the TFX-producing strain exhibited at least 20% greater nodule occupancy than the non-TFX-producing strain in both years. The TFX production phenotype had no effect on grain yield over 3 years; the average yields reached 2,400 kg/ha. These results show that addition of the TFX production phenotype significantly increases nodule occupancy under field conditions without adverse effects on grain yield. As we used common inoculation methods in this work, there are no practical barriers to the commercial adoption of the TFX system for agriculture.
    Applied and environmental microbiology 08/1998; 64(7):2630-3. · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Improved nitrogen-fixing inoculum strains for leguminous crops must be able to effectively compete with indigenous strains for nodulation, enhance legume productivity compared to the productivity obtained with indigenous strains, and maintain stable expression of any added genes in the absence of selection pressure. We constructed a transposable element containing the tfx region for expression of increased nodulation competitiveness and the par locus for plasmid stability. The transposon was inserted into tetA of pHU52, a broad-host-range plasmid conferring the H2 uptake phenotype. The resulting plasmid, pHUTFXPAR, conferred the plasmid stability, trifolitoxin production, and H2 uptake phenotypes in the broad-host-range organism Sinorhizobium sp. strain ANU280. The broad applications of a transposon conferring plasmid stability are discussed.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 05/1998; 64(5):1657-62. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    J Borneman, E W Triplett
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    ABSTRACT: Although the Amazon Basin is well known for its diversity of flora and fauna, this report represents the first description of the microbial diversity in Amazonian soils involving a culture-independent approach. Among the 100 sequences of genes coding for small-subunit rRNA obtained by PCR amplification with universal small-subunit rRNA primers, 98 were bacterial and 2 were archaeal. No duplicate sequences were found, and none of the sequences had been previously described. Eighteen percent of the bacterial sequences could not be classified in any known bacterial kingdom. Two sequences may represent a unique branch between the vast majority of bacteria and the deeply branching, predominantly thermophilic bacteria. Five sequences formed a clade that may represent a novel group within the class Proteobacteria. In addition, rRNA intergenic spacer analysis was used to show significant microbial population differences between a mature forest soil and an adjacent pasture soil.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 08/1997; 63(7):2647-53. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inoculation of alfalfa seeds with any of three recombinant strains of Sinorhizobium meliloti significantly increased overall plant biomass compared with inoculation with the wild-type strains over a 3-year period at three locations. A high proportion of nodules were occupied by the inoculum strains throughout the 3-year period.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 12/1996; 62(11):4260-2. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    B Breil, J Borneman, E W Triplett
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    ABSTRACT: Trifolitoxin (TFX) is a gene-encoded, posttranslationally modified peptide antibiotic. Previously, we have shown that tfxABCDEFG from Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii T24 is sufficient to confer TFX production and resistance to nonproducing strains within a distinct taxonomic group of the alpha-proteobacteria (E. W. Triplett, B. T. Breil, and G. A. Splitter, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60:4163-4166, 1994). Here we describe strain Tn5-2, a Tn5 mutant of T24 defective in the production of TFX, whose insertion maps outside of the tfx cluster. It is not altered in growth compared with T24, nor does it inactivate TFX in its proximity. The wild-type analog of the mutated region of Tn5-2 was cloned. Sequencing, transcriptional fusion mutagenesis, and subcloning were used to identify tfuA, a gene involved in TFX production. On the basis of computer analysis, the putative TfuA protein has a mass of 72.9 kDa and includes a peroxidase motif but no transmembrane domains. TFX production studies show that extra copies of the tfxABCDEFG fragment increase TFX production in a T24 background while additional copies of tfuA do not. Lysate ribonuclease protection assays suggest that tfuA does not regulate transcription of tfxA. Upstream of tfuA are two open reading frames (ORFs). The putative product of ORF1 shows high similarity to the LysR family of transcriptional regulators. The putative product of ORF2 shows high similarity to the cytosine deaminase (CodA) of Escherichia coli.
    Journal of Bacteriology 08/1996; 178(14):4150-6. · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A culture-independent survey of the soil microbial diversity in a clover-grass pasture in southern Wisconsin was conducted by sequence analysis of a universal clone library of genes coding for small-subunit rRNA (rDNA). A rapid and efficient method for extraction of DNA from soils which resulted in highly purified DNA with minimal shearing was developed. Universal small-subunit-rRNA primers were used to amplify DNA extracted from the pasture soil. The PCR products were cloned into pGEM-T, and either hypervariable or conserved regions were sequenced. The relationships of 124 sequences to those of cultured organisms of known phylogeny were determined. Of the 124 clones sequenced, 98.4% were from the domain Bacteria. Two of the rDNA sequences were derived from eukaryotic organelles. Two of the 124 sequences were of nuclear origin, one being fungal and the other a plant sequence. No sequences of the domain Archaea were found. Within the domain, Bacteria, three kingdoms were highly represented: the Proteobacteria (16.1%), the Cytophaga-Flexibacter-Bacteroides group (21.8%), and the low G+C-content gram-positive group (21.8%). Some kingdoms, such as the Thermotogales, the green nonsulfur group, Fusobacteria, and the Spirochaetes, were absent. A large number of the sequences (39.4%) were distributed among several clades that are not among the major taxa described by Olsen et al. (G.J. Olsen, C.R. Woese, and R. Overbeek, J. Bacteriol., 176:1-6, 1994). From the alignments of the sequence data, distance matrices were calculated to display the enormous microbial diversity found in this soil in two ways, as phylogenetic trees and as multidimensional-scaling plots.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 07/1996; 62(6):1935-43. · 3.68 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
108.32 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006
    • University of Florida
      • Department of Microbiology and Cell Science
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 1992–2006
    • University of Wisconsin, Madison
      • • Department of Bacteriology
      • • Center for Limnology
      • • Department of Agronomy
      Madison, MS, United States