Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011KY171B

Metagenomic analysis of microbial urea transformation in soil

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-12-31
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,034

Principal Investigators: Luke Moe, Mark Coyne

Abstract: Metagenomics (defined as the genomic analysis of an assemblage of organisms) comprises a suite of culture-independent microbial techniques used for comprehensive genomic analysis of entire microbial communities. Metagenomic techniques circumvent any bias associated with culturability of bacteria, and therefore give a more representative view of microbial community structure and function. The objective of this project is to use metagenomic analysis to identify and characterize genes encoding urease enzymes from urea-amended soils. We will study two types of soils: one soil will have a history of urea application while the other will not. Among the urea-exposed soils, we will also target those soils that have had urease inhibitors applied. We expect to develop and validate the functional metagenomic screen and identify genes encoding microbial ureases from each metagenomic sample. We will begin phylogenetic analysis of the urease genes and start tests on the susceptibility of the urease enzymes to urease inhibitors.