Fun with Phage (and TEM)

This coming week I plan to use transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to look for bacteria cells visibly infected by phage in biofilms I collect from the Crim Dell Stream on campus. This is exciting to me because I’ve always wanted to use the electron microscope and now I have a reason to!

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Comparing Viral Communities Using RAPD-PCR and Gel Electrophoresis

These past few weeks I have been working on using the viral concentrates I made for RAPD-PCR and gel electrophoresis. To make a viral concentrate, I filter off the bacteria and centrifuge the water samples at 38,000 rpm to force the viruses to the bottom of the centrifuge tubes. I then re-suspend the viruses in a much smaller volume. I have 27 viral concentrates to make gels for, plus the water samples I will continue to collect until October.

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Looking at Viruses and Bacteria in Water Column Samples

I am currently on my third week of research, and for the most part I have been processing nice months of water samples that I collected during the past school year. My project focuses on viral ecology in streams; specifically if viral community composition and abundance changes over time and space and how they infect bacterial biofilms on streambeds. Beginning in October of 2016, I have sampled the Crim Dell Stream on campus at three locations (named CDP, CDU, and CDL) every month. That has amounted to twenty-seven water column samples that I have spent the last two and a half weeks working with.

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