Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Kristine Lowe

Second Advisor

Dr. Alexis Racelis

Third Advisor

Dr. Megan Keniry


The Donna Reservoir in Donna, Texas is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) pollution. This reviews the current understanding of PCBs and investigate the potential of PCB degradation by native bacteria communities in the Donna Reservoir. The metabolic diversity, biphenyl tolerance, bphA1 presence were tested on surface water samples from the Donna Reservoir. The Ecoplate data suggest that the communities have a diverse metabolic capacity and the degree of plant life may interact with carbon type metabolism but not the rate of growth. Biphenyl growth curves showed that all the samples from the Donna Reservoir are tolerant to the average PCB concentration in local sediment. The bphA1 gene was detected in samples with low plant exposure, but not in samples with high plant exposure. It is possible that some bacteria communities in the Donna Reservoir can degrade PCBs, but further testing is need to track transcription rates.


Copyright 2018 Alisha Janiga. All Rights Reserved.