Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Justin Peters, Honors Thesis Advisor


Microorganisms--South Dakota--Wind Cave National Park; Microbial genetics;


Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota is home to many creatures, from the giant buffalo to microscopic single-celled organism. This study focused on the single-celled organisms living in Wind Cave. A total of 81 samples were collected and grown on culture media. The goal of this project was to determine which commercially available kit would yield the highest amount of purified DNA from the samples cultured from the cave. Following the protocols provided by the manufacturer, a control sample as well as samples from three plates had their DNA isolated and purified using seven commercially available DNA purification kits. Two kits yielded an optimal amount of DNA for PCR and sequence analysis, the Omega Bio-tek E.Z.N.A. Fungal DNA Mini kit and the Qiagen DNeasy PowerLyzer PowerSoil kit. Further isolation of other samples was done using both kits, and a total 21 samples were sent off for sequencing analysis.

Year of Submission



Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

University Honors Designation

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

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (26 pages)



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Included in

Biochemistry Commons