Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Karl H. Joplin

Committee Members

Bert C. Lampson, Hugh A. Miller III


Multicellular organisms are not single individuals but carry a complex natural microflora with them. This complex's diversity and function can be considered a distinct ecosystem. Traditional methods of isolation and identification miss >90% of the actual diversity. This study uses the gut microflora of the Madagascar hissing roach, Gromphadorhina portentosa, as a model to examine this ecosystem. Isolated cultured bacteria were used to establish methods for identifying members of the microflora based on ribosomal RNA sequences. Universal primers for Eubacterial, Archaeal, and Eukaryotic 16s/18s rRNA were then used for PCR amplification of total DNA isolated from gut contents. Sequences from isolates were compared using BLAST, ClustalW, and other programs to recognize the isolates' identities and place them using a phylogenetic tree analysis. Eubacterial, Archaeal, and Eukaryotic organisms were found present in the hissing roach gut which can serve as a model ecosystem since it houses Eubacterial, Archaeal, and Eukaryotic organisms.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.