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

Tracking biological activity in Iowa prairies can prove difficult with such high levels of biodiversity. However, using environmental DNA (eDNA) collected from prairie flowers can provide integral information about the insects that pollinate various plants.

When bees land on flowers, they shed cells and leave trace amounts of their DNA behind. After extracting the DNA from these flowers using the Qiagen DNeasy Extraction method, the samples are then mixed with B10 primer. This primer allows only the bee DNA to be targeted once the samples are put through a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

The purpose of this study is to help further the familiarity of using eDNA to research pollinators. This method of DNA extraction and analysis is still fairly new, but it’s proven to be successful at providing information about the patterns of pollinators and other insects. Especially since many bees and butterflies are rapidly decreasing in population, being able to figure out the abundance, location, distribution, and feeding habits of different pollinator species can be the difference between survival and extinction.

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

Ai Wen

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

Using Environmental DNA (eDNA) to Assess Pollinator Communities in Cedar Valley

ScholarSpace, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Tracking biological activity in Iowa prairies can prove difficult with such high levels of biodiversity. However, using environmental DNA (eDNA) collected from prairie flowers can provide integral information about the insects that pollinate various plants.

When bees land on flowers, they shed cells and leave trace amounts of their DNA behind. After extracting the DNA from these flowers using the Qiagen DNeasy Extraction method, the samples are then mixed with B10 primer. This primer allows only the bee DNA to be targeted once the samples are put through a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

The purpose of this study is to help further the familiarity of using eDNA to research pollinators. This method of DNA extraction and analysis is still fairly new, but it’s proven to be successful at providing information about the patterns of pollinators and other insects. Especially since many bees and butterflies are rapidly decreasing in population, being able to figure out the abundance, location, distribution, and feeding habits of different pollinator species can be the difference between survival and extinction.