SUMMER WEEK 4 UPDATES

After four weeks of work this summer, we have made some substantial progress on our project. Here’s what’s going on:

 

1. Project Name

 

After a brainstorming session, we have settled on “Minecrobe” as our project theme. Minecrobe combines the power of microbes in soil with a Minecraft twist, relating to the way in which mine carts shuttle ore from one location to another, as our bacteria will release phytosiderophores that will shuttle iron from the soil into plant roots. Expect all of our deliverables to have a Minecraft element to them.

 

2. Plants

 

This week we obtained the supplies necessary to begin our first round of plants. We are planting 102 plants, both corn and rice, in ideal growth conditions with the exception of iron availability. We are going to create a gradient of applied Sprint 330, which contains an iron-chelating compound called DTPA, which will enable us to assess numerical values for iron deficiency, sufficiency, and toxicity for both species of plant. We are scheduled to plant on Monday of next week.

 

3. Bacteria

While the first round of plants are growing, we will be shifting our focus to growing our bacteria. Our orders of three different strains of Bacillus subtilis have come in from the Bacillus stock center at Ohio State University and just today we have cultured them on LB plates. We are also in the process of determining the exact sequence of DNA base pairs we are going to send in for synthesis. Today, we ran our desired genes through an optimizing program to raise their level of success once the plasmids are transformed into the bacteria.