Using DNA Sequence Analysis Tools in Your Classroom
Project Page for August 11, 2018 Workshop
Saturday, August 11, 2018
Teacher workshop “Using DNA Sequence Analysis Tools In Your Classroom” at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences
In this all day workshop, our participants learned about the process of identifying microbial communities in environmental samples through DNA sequence analysis of the microbiome (collection of DNA of all microbes in a sample).
The workshop included a post-workshop group project where each participant received a set of swabs and other supplies to take back to their school. They and their students will then sample a set of locations around their school as determined by the participants at the workshop. Each teacher then will send those sample swabs back to the museum for processing. After sequencing of all samples is complete, they each will receive the data set summarizing the organisms identified in each sample from all locations.
In preparation for the research part of the workshop, participants practiced swabbing various places around the museum in preparation for collecting samples at their school to send back to us for sequencing. See a gallery of swab images from different types of sample locations below. These practice swabs were used as a guide for what your swabs might look like after firmly swabbing a sampling location for a full minute.
During the workshop, participants learned how their swabs will be processed here at the museum to get from swab to DNA sequences through DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and Next-Gen sequencing. They also took a guided tour of the Genomics and Microbiology Research Lab to see where the sequencing will take place as well as the tools and equipment that will be used.
After lunch we had a hands-on demonstration of data analysis tools with Calypso, an online platform (free for academic use) useful for mining microbiome data to make interesting comparisons of microbial populations between collection locations and sites. Data from the 2017 workshop was used for practice demonstrations.
This workshop was organized by Christy Flint and Deb Bailey of the Micro World Investigate Lab in partnership with Dr. Marianne Barrier, Lab Manager of the Genomics and Microbiology Research Lab. Funding of our post-workshop sequencing project was provided by Dr. Peter Balint-Kurti, USDA-ARS Research Geneticist in the department of plant pathology at NC State University through his NSF Plant Genome Grant #1444503.
7 Sampling Types
Workshop participants chose the 7 items to be sampled at each school. Each class sampled the same 7 item types and sent the swabs to the lab for 16S sequencing.