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In an effort to reduce Lyme transmission in Dutchess county, the Carry Institute of Ecosystem Studies is evaluating various vector management strategies for their safety and efficacy. One strategy under consideration is treatment of voluntarily enrolled residential areas with Met52, a biopesticide which kills Ixodes scapularis, a principle Lyme vector. The goal of this Senior Project is to evaluate how application of Metarhizium anisopliae F52, commonly known as Met52, changes the soil bacterial microbiome of plots representative of residential areas.
We analyzed the microbiomes of 55 samples using the QIIME pipeline. We found that the edge effect was not detectable at distances of 1 m. This allowed us to pool inner and edge samples for comparisons of how lawn and forest microbiomes responded to Met52. We found that despite greater macro scale diversity, the lawn microbiome actually harbored a more diverse soil microbiome. Surprisingly, this complexity was not correlated with greater microbiome stability following Met52 application. Met52 had no effect on the core microbiome at a phyla level, but exerted a significant negative effect on Acidobacteriia at the class level among lawn samples. By abundance, 3.5% of the forest and 15% of the lawn microbiome was significantly impacted by Met52 treatment. Met52 facilitated the growth of novel taxa within the soil environment. However, the microbiome overall was stable to Met52 effects. Treatment resulted in the removal of only very few bacterial species; a finding which supports Met52’s environmental safety regarding the bacterial microbiome.
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Lampeter, Matthew Rusling, "A Metagenomic Study of Met52’s Effects on the Bacterial Microbiome" (2017). Senior Projects Spring 2017. 103.