With us at the MEG: I'm a student from the University of Milan Bicocca interested in Microbial Ecology; during my staying at the MEG, I will work on the assessment of antibiotic resistance in the microbial community of Lake Maggiore. From previous sampling campaigns analysing the vertical distribution of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), particularly int1 and tetA, it seems as if ARGs were sinking down from the euphotic zone to the deeper layers in late spring. Our hypothesis is: ARGs are attached to lake snow particles and sink down with the detritus and are then found in deeper layers.
My working plan is:
In addition to the regular sampling scheme starting from January 2018, to add DNA samples which are not pre-filtered over 10um. In this way I will be able to compare free-living antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) to particle attached ARB. This will include for at least 3 times the analysis of ARGs on various fractions of living organisms in the lake: Daphnia, Copepods, Rotifers, Phytoplankton and Mussels. Moreover I will use sedimentation traps on various depths of the lake to analyse the fraction of ARGs on sinking particles.
Methods: Molecular biology (DNA extraction, quantification, sequencing and further analyses), use of flow cytometry, epifluorescence microscope, statistical approches.