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Name: Roseann W.
Status: Educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2002

My AP Biology students are working on a study of microbial ecology in abandoned mine drainage waters. Does a particular protocol exist for isolating individual species? We are getting major biotechnology equipment within the next two weeks and I was wondering if there were any DNA studies we could do to help us in the identification process. Any help would be appreciated.

I am not sure there is any rapid or specific "kit" for such isolations but I doubt it since these are not an object of routine study. I would do two things. Consult with a microbiologist ate either a local college or at your state Extension agency, and two consult Bergeys Manual of Systematic Bacteriology and find the appropriate medium and temperatures (and possibly gas concentrations) they like and do a standard streak plate followed by pure tube cultures.

Peter Faletra Ph.D.
Assistant Director
Science Education
Office of Science
Department of Energy

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