The Development of Primers for Unknown Thermophilic Bacteria at Vulcan Hot Springs

The Development of Primers for Unknown Thermophilic Bacteria at Vulcan Hot Springs

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The Thermus Aquaticus project’s purpose is to identify a species of thermophilic bacteria found in a local hot spring, Vulcan Hot Springs, through genetic sequencing and analysis. The polymerase gene in other Thermus bacterias has proven useful in genetic reactions. The Vulcan bacteria grows at a higher temperature than other thermophilic bacterias, giving it the potential to have a more effective polymerase gene than what is currently available. My own research has been focused on designing effective primers for the polymerase gene in the bacteria. I have designed primers based on the similarities between the Vulcan bacteria and known Thermus species found in GenBank after growing, isolating, running polymerase chain reaction (PCR), running gel electrophoresis, and sequencing samples in the labs at Cascade High School and Idaho National Laboratories. I have not been able to obtain consistent and correct results from these primers.

Cascade High School’s (in Cascade, Idaho) research lab projects are student taught – passed down from one student to the next each year. Thermus Aquaticus (TAQ) is a research lab project focused on identifying a thermophilic bacterium found in a local hot spring, Vulcan Hot Springs. The polymerase gene in bacteria species, mainly Thermus aquaticus, has proven useful in polymerase chain reactions (PCR), an important reaction in genetic and forensic sciences. The Vulcan bacterium grows at a higher temperature than Thermus aquaticus; the polymerase gene from Vulcan may prove to be more useful than those currently available.

I joined TAQ as a sophomore in high school and learned much of the project, especially the procedures completed on a computer, on my own. After sequencing the 16Sr...

... middle of paper ...

... extra analysis before ordering primers might have given me more insight into how likely the primers are to work, which may have influenced me to change which primers I ordered. One can always look back at their previous work and wish that he or she could go back in time with their current knowledge and repeat it, but I am pleased with my work and proud that I was able to design primers. I am still hopeful that different PCR settings will change the effectiveness of the primers I designed.

Works Cited

Kennedy, Clinton. Instruction on genetics and reaction processes. 2009-2011.
Miller, Kenneth R. and Joseph S. Levine. “Chapter 12: DNA and RNA.” Biology. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc., 2002. Print.
Roberto, Francisco. Instruction on genetics and reaction processes. 2009-2011.
Stocks, Nick. Instruction on genetics and reaction processes. 2009.

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