November 19, 2019 - Past Research & Isolating and Quantifying DNA for Species Determination Observation

Today, I looked through past undergraduate research done at the Roberts lab to get an idea of the kind of research that has been done in the past as well as to get a better idea of what I might potentially be interested in researching.

Overview of Research

Most of the undergraduate research that I looked at pertained to some sort of genomic analysis relating to bivalves such as the Pacific geoduck (Panopea generosa) or the Olympia Oyster (Ostrea lurida), although there were definitely some studies done on organisms outside of bivalves, such as the orange sea pen (Ptilosarcus gurneyi). All of the research can be accessed through the Roberts Lab Website.

Isolating and Quantifying DNA for Species Determination

Sam is isolating and quantifying some DNA from samples of different oysters to help an oyster distribution company determine the identity of a bivalve that they are having some difficulties determining. Below is a rough overview of the process.

Steps taken to isolate DNA:

  1. Samples removed from freezer
  2. Tissue extracted from samples and put into separate tubes containing DNAzol and ethanol to help precipitate the DNA
  3. Samples put into centrifuge to create DNA “pellets”
  4. Supernatant removed using pipette
  5. Pellets cleaned with solution (first a ethanol/DNAzol solution, then 70% ethanol, then water) to help purify the sample even more and remove any residual materials
  6. If samples are too dry, pipette the solution in and out to separate the pellet from the surface of the tube (may cause DNA to break down).

Next Steps

Tomorrow, I will be helping Sam by either doing PCR and/or running the samples through a gel.

Written on November 19, 2019