Nanopore Sequencing of Microbial Communities from the Asarco East Helena, Montana Smelter Site

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Authors
Shefelbine, Lucas
McWade, Molly
Lohr, Kelsyn
Schultz, Brooklynn
Advisor
Beck, Ashley
Editor
Date of Issue
2022
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Title
Nanopore Sequencing of Microbial Communities from the Asarco East Helena, Montana Smelter Site
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Presentation
Description
Abstract
Lead pollution has extremely negative effects on both the environment and the organisms living in it. The work done in this project serves to demonstrate the effects of the East Helena smelting operation on the microbiome of the soil in the area, as well as the effects of subsequent soil remediation efforts. The smelting operation and its pollutants have drastically impacted the area, as seen by the EPA’s designation of the area as a Superfund site. We hypothesized that the soil’s microbiome has been affected as well, both in species variation and population. Soil samples were procured from different locations around the East Helena smelter site varying in remediation levels. Microbial DNA was extracted from the samples, and a Nanopore sequencer was used to sequence the DNA and identify the microbial taxa present in each sample. From an analysis of the microbial community composition data, we were able to understand the patterns of different species and populations present in the soil. By gathering soil samples and microbiome data from locations at various positions and stages of remediation around the smelting site, the goal was to determine the impacts of both pollution and soil remediation on the microbiome of the area.
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Biology