Studying the Abundance of Virulence Factors Across Different Vegetation Types


  • Alex Galang CSUSM
  • Jake Coast
  • George Vourlitis
  • Elinne Becket


The microbial community composition in wetlands is affected by soil and vegetation type. Additionally, the abundance of virulence factors can be altered. We hypothesized that vegetation type would significantly change the abundance and profile of virulence factors in rhizosphere soil and bulk soil. We conducted a study using soil samples from three vegetation types (lowland, riparian, and upland sedge) with two sites (rhizosphere soil and bulk soil) per vegetation type. After extracting and sequencing DNA from these samples, the abundance of virulence factors in each sample was identified. Our results showed that bulk soil had more variability in virulence factors than rhizosphere soil. Virulence factors that influence the symbiotic relationship between microbes and plants were seen to be in increased number in rhizospheric soil. This relationship is best explained by microbial proximity to plants, facilitating the exchange of nutrients and materials between both plant and microbe. Further analyses will be needed to exact the complete function of microbes between vegetation and soil types.

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