Abstract

The Colorado River Basin runs through multiple states in the West of the United States and is a prime water source for about 30 million people in our nation and is used for much of the farmland and agricultural needs in this area. Using cultures derived from the Colorado River Basin a multitude of tests were run in order to determine more about the microbes that are thriving within the river, specifically from archeal phylum Thaumarchaeota. These are ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) who perform nitrification by converting ammonia into nitrite, a process that was previously thought to only be achieved by ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB). Currently there is limited information about Thaumarchaeota, during this research further exploration of the microbe was hoping to reveal more information. While the research did not reveal any new information about the archaea, it did reveal that there were bacteria surviving in the extreme conditions within the lab kept cultures. As a result, further research is still needed but the progress that is being made allows scientists a way to continue providing the nation with more information about their natural resources.

Mentor

Emily Cardarelli

Lab site

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program under Grant # 1340110. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The research was also made possible by the California State University STEM Teacher and Researcher Program, in partnership with Chevron (www.chevron.com), the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (www.marinesanctuary.org) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

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