Presentation Title

Investigation of Microbial Interactions between Cigarette and Soil Microbiomes

Faculty Mentor

Phillip Gedalanga

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 9:30 AM

Location

200

Session

poster 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

interdisciplinary

Abstract

Anthropogenic litter in our coastal areas is a global environmental health issue and discarded cigarette butts are one of the most frequent types of litter found. While much of the literature has examined the toxicity of cigarette butts on aquatic organisms, the influence of cigarettes as an agent for microorganisms and genetic transfer into the receiving environments has received less attention. This study evaluated discarded cigarettes as a vehicle for microorganisms to enter soil environments and influence microbial community composition, thus driving a change in these microenvironments. We began with method development to determine whether the presence of cigarettes would inhibit the extraction of microbial DNA and then examined the minimum number of cigarettes required to produce adequate DNA for downstream analyses including quantitative polymerase chain reaction and microbial community sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene on the MiSeq sequencing platform. Finally, we examined smoking “hot spots” on California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), as predetermined by the Fresh Air Advocates of CSUF, and collected samples from discarded cigarette butts, soil near discarded cigarettes as well as soil from distant areas free of cigarette butts. Our results showed that bacterial DNA was successfully extracted from cigarette mixtures spiked with E. coli and we could extract a sufficient amount of DNA, average 12.02 ± 1.10 ng/μL with a minimum of 20 cigarettes. Next generation sequencing data and qPCR results are being reviewed to determine if there are any associations between the three sampled locations. A preliminary review of the sequencing data suggests that there are microorganisms unique to the cigarettes and the proximal soil samples and absent in the distant soil suggesting the potential exists for cigarette butts to serve as a vehicle for microorganisms and genetic material in receiving environments.

Keywords: Cigarettes, Next Generation Sequencing, Microbial Transport, Soil Microbial Communities, Microbiomes.

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Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM Nov 23rd, 9:30 AM

Investigation of Microbial Interactions between Cigarette and Soil Microbiomes

200

Anthropogenic litter in our coastal areas is a global environmental health issue and discarded cigarette butts are one of the most frequent types of litter found. While much of the literature has examined the toxicity of cigarette butts on aquatic organisms, the influence of cigarettes as an agent for microorganisms and genetic transfer into the receiving environments has received less attention. This study evaluated discarded cigarettes as a vehicle for microorganisms to enter soil environments and influence microbial community composition, thus driving a change in these microenvironments. We began with method development to determine whether the presence of cigarettes would inhibit the extraction of microbial DNA and then examined the minimum number of cigarettes required to produce adequate DNA for downstream analyses including quantitative polymerase chain reaction and microbial community sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene on the MiSeq sequencing platform. Finally, we examined smoking “hot spots” on California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), as predetermined by the Fresh Air Advocates of CSUF, and collected samples from discarded cigarette butts, soil near discarded cigarettes as well as soil from distant areas free of cigarette butts. Our results showed that bacterial DNA was successfully extracted from cigarette mixtures spiked with E. coli and we could extract a sufficient amount of DNA, average 12.02 ± 1.10 ng/μL with a minimum of 20 cigarettes. Next generation sequencing data and qPCR results are being reviewed to determine if there are any associations between the three sampled locations. A preliminary review of the sequencing data suggests that there are microorganisms unique to the cigarettes and the proximal soil samples and absent in the distant soil suggesting the potential exists for cigarette butts to serve as a vehicle for microorganisms and genetic material in receiving environments.

Keywords: Cigarettes, Next Generation Sequencing, Microbial Transport, Soil Microbial Communities, Microbiomes.