Title

Comparison of Traditional and Molecular Techniques for Describing Fungi in Streams

Presenter Information

Cory Cheatham

Department

Biological Sciences

Major

Biological Sciences

Research Advisor

Niyogi, Dev

Advisor's Department

Biological Sciences

Funding Source

Biological Sciences

Abstract

The diversity of aquatic fungi on decomposing leaves from a small stream in the Ozarks was examined using three techniques. Aspen leaves were placed in the Audubon Stream just outside Rolla, Missouri, for several weeks to allow fungi to colonize the leaves. Leaf samples were taken after exposure, and fungal conidia were examined under the microscope. Fungal cultures from leaves were also grown on malt extract agar, which allowed for the visual identification of fungal taxa. These methods were compared to a new molecular method that involves DNA extraction from decomposing leaves and amplification with fungal-specific primers. Amplified DNA from the fungal community was separated on a denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) system, and the number of bands served as a measure of diversity from the leaf sample. The traditional and molecular techniques gave similar results, but the molecular methods revealed greater diversity during some sampling times.

Biography

Cory Cheatham is a junior in the Biological Sciences department at UMR.

Research Category

Natural Sciences

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Award

Natural Sciences poster session, First place

Presentation Date

12 Apr 2006, 1:00 pm

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Apr 12th, 1:00 PM

Comparison of Traditional and Molecular Techniques for Describing Fungi in Streams

The diversity of aquatic fungi on decomposing leaves from a small stream in the Ozarks was examined using three techniques. Aspen leaves were placed in the Audubon Stream just outside Rolla, Missouri, for several weeks to allow fungi to colonize the leaves. Leaf samples were taken after exposure, and fungal conidia were examined under the microscope. Fungal cultures from leaves were also grown on malt extract agar, which allowed for the visual identification of fungal taxa. These methods were compared to a new molecular method that involves DNA extraction from decomposing leaves and amplification with fungal-specific primers. Amplified DNA from the fungal community was separated on a denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) system, and the number of bands served as a measure of diversity from the leaf sample. The traditional and molecular techniques gave similar results, but the molecular methods revealed greater diversity during some sampling times.