School of Health Sciences
Biology: Biomedical Sciences
Microbiome, Microbial, Amphibian, Amphibians, Egg Masses, Egg Mass, Egg, Environment, Salamander, Spotted Salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, Ecology, Conservation, Antimicrobial, Vertical Transmission
Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology | Life Sciences | Microbiology
Leonard, Elizabeth, "Spotted Salamander Egg Masses Exhibit a Unique Internal Microbiome in Relation to Their Environment" (2021). Senior Honors Theses. 1123.
Microbial studies have led to various ecological and medicinal discoveries. Amphibian eggs, like those of Ambystoma maculatum, exhibit natural resistance to bacterial invasion that may be microbiome related. The purpose of this research was to sequence the external and internal microbiome of A. maculatum egg masses and compare with the environmental microbiome. It was hypothesized that the external and internal microbiome would bear more similarity to each other than the water. A significant difference was observed between the microbiome of the inside surface of the egg mass and the water but not the outside surface of the egg and the water, suggesting that the internal environment consists of unique microbes possibly acquired through vertical transmission or interactions with other organisms.