Wednesday, October 19, 2011: 10:30 AM
208 B (Minneapolis Convention Center)
Algae is a high growth source for biomass with a great potential to be a significantly eco-friendly bio-fuel source. Since different species of algae have different oil and lipid concentration it is important to genotype the algae and determine the best species for biofuel production. For genotyping, we examine the 16S and the 18S genes, which are highly conserved among prokaryotes and eukaryotes (respectively), but both have unique small variable regions that can be used to differentiate between species. We analyze the DNA using capillary electrophoresis single strand conformation polymorphism (CE-SSCP). In SSCP, double stranded DNA is heat denatured and snap cooled, which allows the single strands to form unique conformation depending on their sequence. These conformations can then be separated using electrophoresis. Using a reference database of pure culture species, we are working to identify algae from environmental samples being grown for biofuel production. By monitoring the environmental conditions and the corresponding changes in algal species, we can improve biofuel production potential.