State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008KY112B
Title: Identification of human and animal fecal sources in central Kentucky watersheds by PCR of 16s DNA markers from host specific fecal anaerobes
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: KY Sixth
Focus Categories: Methods, Water Quality, Wastewater
Keywords: microbial source tracking, Bacteriodes, polymerase chain reaction
Principal Investigators: Brion, Gail ; Fryar, Alan (University of Kentucky)
Federal Funds: $ 4,977
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,047
Abstract: Many methods have been proposed for effective bacterial source tracking. Molecular methods are being favored currently for their specificity, but there are still many of these techniques to choose from and much debate over the applicability of a method in a geographical region different from that where the method was developed. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) of the 16s DNA markers for Bacteroides bacterial species is rapidly growing in popularity. This study of the Wolf Run and Eagle Creek watersheds in Lexington, KY, and the Blue Hole Spring in Versailles, KY, attempts to determine the usefulness of published PCR primers specific for cow or human markers and to compare the atypical coliform/typical coliform ratios (AC/TC) with the molecular signal in an effort to advance fecal source tracking. Variations in markers present and relative intensity of signal should be apparent in samples from differing land-use areas. The presence of human specific Bacteroides markers should correlate favorably with a low AC/TC ratio, thereby further validating the use of each method independently. The PCR protocol will benefit from refinement during the continued method development in this study.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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