The first three weeks of my REU experience have been great! I am working with Jordan Wood. Together we are working with Quercus Oglethopensis(Oglethorpe Oak). In our project we are going to look at the genetic diversity within ex situ and in situ populations. This is because living collections at botanic gardens/institutions are not conserving the genetic potential of species. Our main goal is to improve the quality of these living collections, and improve the efforts in conservation.
In the lab a lot of my work has focused on DNA extractions. With the DNA we then dilute it 1:50, and prep it for PCR. This helps DNA in small quantities to multiple copies. From that we run a gel with the our PCR samples, this lets us see whether or not our DNA was amplified. Finally we place our plate in the Beckman so that we can asses the variation in alleles. I have not made it to this step in my work yet! By the next time I blog, I hope that I can have some data to share with you all.