Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Edmaritz Hernández Pagán - University of Puerto Rico at Cayey
Co-Author(s): Valeria C Laboy-Collazo, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, Cayey, Puerto Rico; Cristina Marie Rivera-Quiles, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, Cayey, Puerto Rico; Ileanexis Rosado-Burgos, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, Cayey, Puerto Rico; Michael R. Rubin, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, Cayey, Puerto Rico
Conventionally, organisms are identified and classified using morphological standards to group organisms with similar phenotypic characteristics, building a taxonomic hierarchy. Approaches employing comparative genomics will produce more precise identification and classifications. Meanwhile, DNA barcoding regions is a faster and easier method that uses short DNA sequences and can be utilized to distinguish, classify specimens, and validate taxonomic relationships made by the implementation of morphological criteria. As a first step, various barcode regions were selected as possible markers for the classification of plants including rbcL, matK, trnH-psbA, rpoC1, and ITS as well as other specific primers. Plants endemic to Puerto Rico or of medicinal or economic importance were selected. Genomic DNAs from selected plants were extracted and purified. Genomic regions were PCR amplified using barcode primers. PCR products were visualized with agarose gel electrophoresis and DNA sequences were determined. Amplified PCR products were obtained and sequenced from several plants using various barcode primers. Bioinformatic tools including BLAST and MEGA 7 will be used for the analysis of the obtained sequences and the construction of phylogenetic trees to examine taxonomic relationships between the plants. The goal of this research is to elucidate relationships between barcode genomic DNA sequences and to determine if this reflects the classification of the studied plants.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This study was supported by NIH, the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey and a PR-LSAMP undergraduate research scholarship given to Edmaritz Hern?ndez Pag?n, an undergraduate student in the University at Cayey.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Rubin, email@example.com
Role: As part of this research, I selected a plant for gDNA extraction. I performed the gDNA extraction and the PCR. Also, I ran the agarose electrophoresis gel. After having the DNA sequences, I will construct the phylogenetic trees and analyze them using bioinformatic tools. In the end, I will compare the plants' molecular classification with morphological classifications already made.