A Tale of Two Experiments…

- Extracting DNA from the filters

Extracting DNA from the filters

Screen shot 2013-04-21 at 10.01.14 AM

Sampling may have ended, but the work of analyzing data has just begun. After cleaning the equipment loaned from Dr. Morris, I headed to Seattle to use the Guava flow cytometer to determine the bacterial abundance present in our mesocosms. This data was needed to guide me in selecting the days we needed to run TRFLP analysis on the DNA collected by filtering mesocosm seawater. The preliminary flow cytometry graphs reveal two very different experiments occurred. The period after removing the shower caps and lowering the mesh bags show trend lines unique from those prior to increasing the amount of light in the mesocosms. While Dr. Morris and I are still in the process of teasing out the factors which might have participated in these results – the decision was made to run the TRFLP on the first and last days of the experiment and the day when the abundance began to increase exponentially. I completed the steps preparing the DNA to be extracted from the filters yesterday and cannot wait for Monday. At that time I will complete a lengthy protocol to determine the community composition of bacterioplankton within the mesocosms and, hopefully, determine if there are any trends correlating to the change in our flow cytometry trends. While I cannot wait for the DNA to reveal just what was growing in our mesocosms, I still have much work to do researching. The weather provides an opportunity to spend time out-of-doors researching and writing and I am taking full advantage of the sunny days.

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