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Is it possible to treat the mouth as a natural environment, and determine new methods to keep the microbiome in check? The need for biodiversity in health may suggest that every species carries out a specific function that is required to maintain equilibrium and homeostasis within the oral cavity. Furthermore,

Is it possible to treat the mouth as a natural environment, and determine new methods to keep the microbiome in check? The need for biodiversity in health may suggest that every species carries out a specific function that is required to maintain equilibrium and homeostasis within the oral cavity. Furthermore, the relationship between the microbiome and its host is mutually beneficial because the host is providing microbes with an environment in which they can flourish and, in turn, keep their host healthy. Reviewing examples of larger scale environmental shifts could provide a window by which scientists can make hypotheses. Certain medications and healthcare treatments have been proven to cause xerostomia. This disorder is characterized by a dry mouth, and known to be associated with a change in the composition, and reduction, of saliva. Two case studies performed by Bardow et al, and Leal et al, tested and studied the relationships of certain medications and confirmed their side effects on the salivary glands [2,3]. Their results confirmed a relationship between specific medicines, and the correlating complaints of xerostomia. In addition, Vissink et al conducted case studies that helped to further identify how radiotherapy causes hyposalivation of the salivary glands [4]. Specifically patients that have been diagnosed with oral cancer, and are treated by radiotherapy, have been diagnosed with xerostomia. As stated prior, studies have shown that patients having an ecologically balanced and diverse microbiome tend to have healthier mouths. The oral cavity is like any biome, consisting of commensalism within itself and mutualism with its host. Due to the decreased salivary output, caused by xerostomia, increased parasitic bacteria build up within the oral cavity thus causing dental disease. Every human body contains a personalized microbiome that is essential to maintaining health but capable of eliciting disease. The Human Oral Microbiomics Database (HOMD) is a set of reference 16S rRNA gene sequences. These are then used to define individual human oral taxa. By conducting metagenomic experiments at the molecular and cellular level, scientists can identify and label micro species that inhabit the mouth during parasitic outbreaks or a shifting of the microbiome. Because the HOMD is incomplete, so is our ability to cure, or prevent, oral disease. The purpose of the thesis is to research what is known about xerostomia and its effects on the complex microbiome of the oral cavity. It is important that researchers determine whether this particular perspective is worth considering. In addition, the goal is to create novel experiments for treatment and prevention of dental diseases.
ContributorsHalcomb, Michael Jordan (Author) / Chen, Qiang (Thesis director) / Steele, Kelly (Committee member) / Barrett, The Honors College (Contributor) / College of Letters and Sciences (Contributor)
Created2015-05
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Bats are a highly diverse mammal species with a dense virome and fascinating immune system. The following project utilizes metagenomics in order to identify DNA viruses present in populations of silver-haired bats and Mexican free-tailed bats from southern Arizona. A significant number of DNA viruses and novel viruses were identified

Bats are a highly diverse mammal species with a dense virome and fascinating immune system. The following project utilizes metagenomics in order to identify DNA viruses present in populations of silver-haired bats and Mexican free-tailed bats from southern Arizona. A significant number of DNA viruses and novel viruses were identified in the Cressdnaviricota phylum and Microvirdae family.

ContributorsHarding, Ciara (Author) / Varsani, Arvind (Thesis director) / Dolby, Greer (Committee member) / Kraberger, Simona (Committee member) / Barrett, The Honors College (Contributor) / School of Life Sciences (Contributor) / Watts College of Public Service & Community Solut (Contributor)
Created2022-05
Description
Wild horses have roamed the Salt River in Mesa, Arizona since the early 1800s and contribute to the great diversity of the region. Conservation of the herd has been a primary focus for many years and a current focus is population stabilization, but little is known about their virome. Circoviridae,

Wild horses have roamed the Salt River in Mesa, Arizona since the early 1800s and contribute to the great diversity of the region. Conservation of the herd has been a primary focus for many years and a current focus is population stabilization, but little is known about their virome. Circoviridae, Genomoviridae, and Smacoviridae are the three Cressdnaviricota viruses that have been identified in horses to date. Smacoviridae is classified by the rolling circle replication-associated proteins (Rep) and has a small (2.3-2.9kb), circular, single-stranded genome. The goal of this study was to identify DNA viruses within the fecal samples of the Salt River horses. Samples were collected along the lower Salt River and analyzed in the lab using a metagenomics approach. There were 422 full novel genomes of smacoviruses detected across all samples that were grouped into 144 species based on the similarity of the pairwise identity. Phylogenetic analysis shows the smacoviruses from this study fall into 3 classified genera and the rest cluster into 11 new clades. These results expand the viral diversity associated with wild horses and Smacoviridae, and further studies are needed to determine the host of these viruses.
ContributorsMcGraw, Hannah (Author) / Varsani, Arvind (Thesis director) / Murphree, Julie (Committee member) / Kraberger, Simona (Committee member) / Barrett, The Honors College (Contributor) / School of Life Sciences (Contributor)
Created2024-05