[Characterization of Black and Dichothrix Cyanobacteria Based on the 16S Ribosomal RNA Gene Sequence].
- Ortega, Maya
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
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- My project focuses on characterizing different cyanobacteria in thrombolitic mats found on the island of Highborn Cay, Bahamas. Thrombolites are interesting ecosystems because of the ability of bacteria in these mats to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and mineralize it as calcium carbonate. In the future they may be used as models to develop carbon sequestration technologies, which could be used as part of regenerative life systems in space. These thrombolitic communities are also significant because of their similarities to early communities of life on Earth. I targeted two cyanobacteria in my research, Dichothrix spp. and whatever black is, since they are believed to be important to carbon sequestration in these thrombolitic mats. The goal of my summer research project was to molecularly identify these two cyanobacteria. DNA was isolated from each organism through mat dissections and DNA extractions. I ran Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR) to amplify the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene in each cyanobacteria. This specific gene is found in almost all bacteria and is highly conserved, meaning any changes in the sequence are most likely due to evolution. As a result, the 16S rRNA gene can be used for bacterial identification of different species based on the sequence of their 16S rRNA gene. Since the exact sequence of the Dichothrix gene was unknown, I designed different primers that flanked the gene based on the known sequences from other taxonomically similar cyanobacteria. Once the 16S rRNA gene was amplified, I cloned the gene into specialized Escherichia coli cells and sent the gene products for sequencing. Once the sequence is obtained, it will be added to a genetic database for future reference to and classification of other Dichothrix sp.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20100036744.
- Copyright, Distribution under U.S. Government purpose rights.
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