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Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

C. Gregory Anderson

First Committee Member

Mark S. Brunell

Second Committee Member

Kirkwood Land

Third Committee Member

Gregg D. Jongeward

Abstract

In order to analyze the bacterial community of river otter scat (fecal material) at the class level, river otter scat samples were collected from Grizzly Island Wildlife Area (Solano County, CA) and the Cosumnes River Preserve (Sacramento County, CA). DNA was isolated from each sample with the MOBIO PowerSoil™ DNA Isolation Kit and 16S rRNA gene sequences were amplified from each sample. After digestion with Mspl, TRFLPs were analyzed in an ABI Prism™ 310 Genetic Analyzetin triplicate and data peak information from each electropherogram was uploaded into the Phylogenetic Assignment Tool (PAT). Species belonging to the Class Bacilli were the most abundant followed by unclassified species.

Two road killed river otters were necropsied to recover brain and blood tissue. DNA was isolated using the Qiagen Tissue DNeasy Kit. Samples from both otters were amplified with a singe tube nested PCR primer set for the detection of the ITS 1 region of Toxoplasma gondii. Scat samples used in the T-RFLP analysis were also tested for the presence ofT. gondii using the same nested primer set. Neither the river otter tissue samples nor any of the scat samples used in this analysis showed evidence of infeGtion with T. gondii.

Pages

68

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