Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Kaia Marie Amoah - Hampton University
Co-Author(s): Indu Sharma, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia
With increasing demands in the seafood industry, red deepsea crabs have a growing role in the Hampton Roads economy. Despite this increasing economic importance, research has been limited in the ecological environments and the evolutionary relationships of the red deepsea crabs. This project will investigate these factors by analyzing genetic diversity among red deepsea crabs sampled from different geographic areas. Over 100 samples collected over the last two years will be prepared for analysis after first isolating genomic DNA from the red deepsea crab tissue. Primers 16sar and 16sbr.crab will be used for PCR amplification followed by purification, quantification and DNA sequencing. The PCR products will be sequenced from both ends and sequences will be aligned to generate an overlap. The he resulting sequence will be trimmed to resolve ambiguities. Using online databases and systems such as BLAST, MEGA 5 and the multiple sequence alignment tool, sequences will be compared to develop a phylogenetic tree and to observe the genetic diversity among deepsea crabs. It is expected that this phylogenetic tree will reveal key evolutionary linkages that can help us predict red deepsea crab evolutionary trends providing vital information for the fishing industry in the Hampton Roads community. The data generated will also become part of meta-analysis to address a bigger question of how host genetics plays a role in establishment of the core micro-biome. Using the results from this study, research scientists can continue to understand the biological processes and functions of the red deepsea crabs and the significance for other marine organisms.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation
Faculty Advisor: Indu Sharma, Indu.Sharma@hamptonu.edu
Role: My responsibilities in this project consist of wet-laboratory work, including PCR amplification and purification as well as DNA sequence data analysis. I will be conducting the majority of the research in this investigation excluding the tissue sample collection and DNA quantification.