Discipline: Biological Sciences
Room: Park Tower 8212
Jhah Cook - Mississippi Valley State University
Co-Author(s): Dr. Mark A. Dugo, Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, MS
The production of nanoparticles (NPs) (particles <100nm in any one direction) has steadily increased over the past several decades. Metal NPs such as titanium oxide, copper oxide, and silver are some of the most abundantly produced NPs. Applications range from their use as antibiotics, to agents of bioremediation and wastewater treatment. While nanotechnology holds great promise for a variety of applications, there remains significant question regarding the impacts of nanoparticles accumulating in the environment. We are conducting experiential based laboratory training using a Chlamydomonas reinhardtii algal species model to investigate toxicological responses with emphasis on oxidative stress and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The accumulation of free radicals can lead to degenerative diseases, cell death and cancer. Antioxidants can reduce the effects of free radicals. Maintaining an equilibrium between ROS and antioxidants is necessary because one extreme is damaging to the cell. The relationships between DNA-mRNA-proteins is central to study, and the analysis of gene expression through real-time qPCR in conjunction with measurements of cell viability are the primary analytical approaches to assess toxicological response to NP exposures. For our studies, we are focused on MN-superoxide dismutase (MSD1) and thioredoxin dependent peroxidase (PRX6) as molecular components of biological antioxidant response systems. Phylogenetic reconstruction of homologous MSD1 and PRX6 gene trees demonstrate broad taxonomic occurrence of these genes from multiple domains of life and provide justification for our use of an algal species model for this study.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Curriculum Development subcontract award from the MS INBRE and by Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program through the U.S. Department of Education.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mark A. Dugo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: For this research, carried out aseptic pure culturing of the algae. I monitored the algae daily by counting the cells and using a spectrophotometer to determine the cell density. I carried out DNA extraction and amplified the DNA. I exposed the algae to two types of metal nanoparticles, shadowed my mentor in the gene expression analysis of antioxidant enzymes and aided in the sequencing of the DNA. After this, my main task was to focus on the bioinformatics aspect of DNA alignments and create a phylogenetic tree that focused primarily on the MNSOD-1 and PRX6 antioxidants genes using Genbank.