Title

Characterization of Biomass-Degrading Acidophilic Microorganisms in Red Lake

Presenter Information

Abagail Campbell

Department

Biological Sciences

Major

Biological Sciences

Research Advisor

Mormile, Melanie R.

Advisor's Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

Red Lake, located approximately 8 miles north of Columbia, Missouri, at the Rocky Fork/Finger Lakes Conservation Area, possesses many different types of extremophile microorganisms, primarily acidophilic ones. The lake maintains an average pH of 3.7 throughout the year due to the influx of acidic mine drainage from a number of seeps. Trees and other biomass enter the lake and decompose, signifying that there are biomass-degrading microorganisms working and living in the lake. My project goals are to isolate and characterize microorganisms responsible for biomass degradation from Red Lake, through the use of biochemical assays, microscopy techniques, and DNA analysis. The overall goal of this project is to find the enzymes that work in this acidic environment to break down the ligno-cellulose in biomass. Ultimately, these enzymes can be used to make the process of biofuel production more efficient and economical.

Biography

Abagail is a first year student in the Biological Sciences department. She has been working in Dr. Melanie Mormile’s Environmental Microbiology Lab for two semesters under the guidance of Tiffany Edwards. On campus, Abagail is a Biological Sciences Department Ambassador, an active member of Miner Mentors, and sits on the Women’s History Month committee. Off campus, she works part-time and volunteers without her community. Abagail plans to matriculate in a graduate school of her choice to study medical microbiology.

Research Category

Research Proposals

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Award

Research proposal poster session, First place

Location

Upper Atrium/Hall

Presentation Date

16 Apr 2014, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Apr 16th, 1:00 PM Apr 16th, 3:00 PM

Characterization of Biomass-Degrading Acidophilic Microorganisms in Red Lake

Upper Atrium/Hall

Red Lake, located approximately 8 miles north of Columbia, Missouri, at the Rocky Fork/Finger Lakes Conservation Area, possesses many different types of extremophile microorganisms, primarily acidophilic ones. The lake maintains an average pH of 3.7 throughout the year due to the influx of acidic mine drainage from a number of seeps. Trees and other biomass enter the lake and decompose, signifying that there are biomass-degrading microorganisms working and living in the lake. My project goals are to isolate and characterize microorganisms responsible for biomass degradation from Red Lake, through the use of biochemical assays, microscopy techniques, and DNA analysis. The overall goal of this project is to find the enzymes that work in this acidic environment to break down the ligno-cellulose in biomass. Ultimately, these enzymes can be used to make the process of biofuel production more efficient and economical.