Event Title

Uncovering the Meiofaunal Buffet via Diagnostic PCR

Presenter Information

Kyle McDaniel, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor

Julian Smith III, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Biology

Location

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 114

Start Date

24-4-2015 1:20 PM

Description

One of the fundamentals of any ecosystem is the trophic relationships between the organisms living in the environment. Therefore, it is vital that these interactions be thoroughly researched and elucidated in order to continue with other studies on the ecosystem in question. Sandy beaches are home to a multitude of microscopic and macroscopic creatures and the microscopic interstitial meiofauna are an important part of the ecosystem. However, prior to this work, the trophic relationships among the meiofauna had not been identified. Using diagnostic PCR techniques, I have worked to identify these links and reveal the predator-prey interactions occurring in the meiofaunal realm with a variety of flatworm predators in the Bogue Banks, North Carolina area. Intra-meiofaunal predation and macrofaunal-meiofaunal predation have been detected with a number of groups of organisms, such as Harpacticoida, Gastrotricha, Diatoms, and Nematoda. Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) studies being conducted in the near future will allow for an even better understanding of how energy transfer works in this subvisible world, and will lead to investigations into how rapid development of beaches is affecting the community.

Comments

Supported by a grant from the Winthrop University Research Council

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Apr 24th, 1:20 PM

Uncovering the Meiofaunal Buffet via Diagnostic PCR

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 114

One of the fundamentals of any ecosystem is the trophic relationships between the organisms living in the environment. Therefore, it is vital that these interactions be thoroughly researched and elucidated in order to continue with other studies on the ecosystem in question. Sandy beaches are home to a multitude of microscopic and macroscopic creatures and the microscopic interstitial meiofauna are an important part of the ecosystem. However, prior to this work, the trophic relationships among the meiofauna had not been identified. Using diagnostic PCR techniques, I have worked to identify these links and reveal the predator-prey interactions occurring in the meiofaunal realm with a variety of flatworm predators in the Bogue Banks, North Carolina area. Intra-meiofaunal predation and macrofaunal-meiofaunal predation have been detected with a number of groups of organisms, such as Harpacticoida, Gastrotricha, Diatoms, and Nematoda. Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) studies being conducted in the near future will allow for an even better understanding of how energy transfer works in this subvisible world, and will lead to investigations into how rapid development of beaches is affecting the community.