Look at those bands!! June began with an incredibly successful PCR test using a new reagent mix that is designed to work efficiently when PCR-inhibiting polysaccharides from plants are present. After many failed tests, seeing this gel light up with amplified DNA was a wonderful feeling to say the least. So I am moving forward with PCR and sequencing of 270 roots collected from 5 different caves in Quintana Roo, Mexico. This work will contribute to the poster I will be presenting at the Ecological Society of America annual meeting in August, which I am very excited about. But a lot has to be done before then!
Outside of the genetics lab, I am finishing up a soil water study in the stable isotope lab. Toby SantaMaria, my advisor’s new graduate student, and I have been extracting water from soils via cryogenic vacuum distillation. Soils with varying clay contents were spiked with water of known isotopic composition to understand the influence that clay has on the soil water by comparing the resulting oxygen and hydrogen values to the spike water values.
Time to get back to the lab!