2022 Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) Symposium

Location

ScholarSpace, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Presentation Type

Open Access Poster Presentation

Document Type

poster

Abstract

Subterranean environments on Earth serve as an analog for the study of microbes on other planets. This has become an active area of research with the discovery of exoplanets. To learn about the microbial species living in Wind Cave, we are comparing methods to sample environmental DNA because most microbes cannot be cultivated using standard laboratory methods. We are then probing the environmental DNA with broad primers that are designed to amplify most life and narrower primers such as those specific to the domain Archaea. Of the methods compared, the Qiagen DNeasy Powerbiofilm kit produced the purest template as measured by its ability to be PCR amplified. The next steps are to optimize the DNA testing reactions to limit mispriming. In the future, these methods will be used to determine the identity, quantity, and spatial distribution of microbes in Wind Cave.

Start Date

29-7-2022 11:00 AM

End Date

29-7-2022 1:30 PM

Event Host

Summer Undergraduate Research Program, University of Northern Iowa

Faculty Advisor

Marek K. Sliwinski

Department

Department of Biology

Comments

AEOP High School Apprentice.

File Format

application/pdf

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Jul 29th, 11:00 AM Jul 29th, 1:30 PM

Exploring Microbes at Wind Cave as an Analog for Exobiological Environments off Earth

ScholarSpace, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Subterranean environments on Earth serve as an analog for the study of microbes on other planets. This has become an active area of research with the discovery of exoplanets. To learn about the microbial species living in Wind Cave, we are comparing methods to sample environmental DNA because most microbes cannot be cultivated using standard laboratory methods. We are then probing the environmental DNA with broad primers that are designed to amplify most life and narrower primers such as those specific to the domain Archaea. Of the methods compared, the Qiagen DNeasy Powerbiofilm kit produced the purest template as measured by its ability to be PCR amplified. The next steps are to optimize the DNA testing reactions to limit mispriming. In the future, these methods will be used to determine the identity, quantity, and spatial distribution of microbes in Wind Cave.