Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Marek Sliwinski


It was previously thought that microbes in the domain Archaea were only found in extreme environments such as hot thermal vents at the bottom of the ocean and hypersaline environments, but as scientists began to use environmental DNA to survey soil, they detected archaea from the phylum Thaumarchaeota in relatively benign environments including farm fields, forests, and prairies. In spite of their widespread global distribution, relatively few of these species have been grown in laboratory culture. It is now known that Thaumarchaeota play an important role in the nitrogen cycle because they can generate energy through ammonia-oxidation. To increase the speed of identifying new species in pure culture, a rapid method of cultivation has been developed involving antibiotics to decrease bacteria growth and providing a substrate such as quartz sand for archaea to attach onto. We will use a version of this method to start cultures with local inoculum sources, including the UNI Daryl Smith prairie, to determine whether archaeal species from Iowa can persist under these growth conditions while bacteria and fungi are eliminated over time.

Year of Submission



Department of Biology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (24 pages)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License