Event Title

Analysis of the Microbiome of Soil at Various Depths and Locations on the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Campus

Session Number

Project ID: ERSP 1

Advisor(s)

Dr. Melissa Lenczewski; Northern Illinois University

Sarah O’Leary; Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Discipline

Earth and Space Sciences

Start Date

22-4-2020 9:45 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 10:00 AM

Abstract

While the general geophysical properties of the Kane county Illinois area are known, there is not much known about the microbiology. To provide background on the geology, Curry (2001) found that the surficial geology of the Aurora North Quadrangle of Illinois is characterized by three major episodes, the earliest of which arrived around 500,000 years ago. There are no sediments from this period, but it likely makes up large portions of the bedrock. Secondly, the Illinois Episode deposited sediments found in bedrock, and a thin layer rich in organic material around 180,000 to 130,000 years ago. In 2013, Curry, Grimley and Bruegger found that the soil type in the area was l-y, meaning the soil is generally characterized as a silty clay/silty clay loam/clay with some layers of gravel or sand at varying depths, down to 100 feet below the surface. A study done by P.E Brown and T.H Benton (1930) found that the population of the microbiome decreases as depth of soil increases, with a possible cause being a lack of organic matter in deeper stratigraphic layers.

To further build off of the research, this research aims to look at the specific layers of the area’s soil to see how depth, location, and soil type affect the microbiome. Firstly, seven 40 feet deep wells were installed on the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Campus next to a water retention pond, and the soil cores of four wells were collected for analysis. Each of the four cores was fully analyzed to classify the soil types and the individual soil gradients. Three of the four cores were also further sampled about every four feet, to be used in DNA extraction to find out more on the microbiome of the area soil at different depths, locations, and soil types. Around 40-50 of these samples were taken, with an additional two water samples from one well, and through the use of a fisher scientific soil DNA extraction kit, DNA was extracted from each. Next, DNA yield was measured using a NanoDrop 2000. With this data, one sample from each depth was chosen to be used in polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using the 16S Illumina Amplicon Protocol as described by the Earth Microbiome Project (2018) and further sequencing, to establish a general picture of the area’s microbiome. At this time, these tests are in process, and conclusive results are not yet available, though we predict substantial variance in the microbiome between locations, soil depths, and soil types.

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Apr 22nd, 9:45 AM Apr 22nd, 10:00 AM

Analysis of the Microbiome of Soil at Various Depths and Locations on the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Campus

While the general geophysical properties of the Kane county Illinois area are known, there is not much known about the microbiology. To provide background on the geology, Curry (2001) found that the surficial geology of the Aurora North Quadrangle of Illinois is characterized by three major episodes, the earliest of which arrived around 500,000 years ago. There are no sediments from this period, but it likely makes up large portions of the bedrock. Secondly, the Illinois Episode deposited sediments found in bedrock, and a thin layer rich in organic material around 180,000 to 130,000 years ago. In 2013, Curry, Grimley and Bruegger found that the soil type in the area was l-y, meaning the soil is generally characterized as a silty clay/silty clay loam/clay with some layers of gravel or sand at varying depths, down to 100 feet below the surface. A study done by P.E Brown and T.H Benton (1930) found that the population of the microbiome decreases as depth of soil increases, with a possible cause being a lack of organic matter in deeper stratigraphic layers.

To further build off of the research, this research aims to look at the specific layers of the area’s soil to see how depth, location, and soil type affect the microbiome. Firstly, seven 40 feet deep wells were installed on the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Campus next to a water retention pond, and the soil cores of four wells were collected for analysis. Each of the four cores was fully analyzed to classify the soil types and the individual soil gradients. Three of the four cores were also further sampled about every four feet, to be used in DNA extraction to find out more on the microbiome of the area soil at different depths, locations, and soil types. Around 40-50 of these samples were taken, with an additional two water samples from one well, and through the use of a fisher scientific soil DNA extraction kit, DNA was extracted from each. Next, DNA yield was measured using a NanoDrop 2000. With this data, one sample from each depth was chosen to be used in polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using the 16S Illumina Amplicon Protocol as described by the Earth Microbiome Project (2018) and further sequencing, to establish a general picture of the area’s microbiome. At this time, these tests are in process, and conclusive results are not yet available, though we predict substantial variance in the microbiome between locations, soil depths, and soil types.