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Spring Break: DNA Barcoding Joshua Tree National Park Insects

desert

DESCRIPTION: Interns will transfer various insect specimens, authoritatively identified by NMNH curators, into 96-well reaction plates for extraction and amplification of the mitochondrial COI Barcode region. The specimens were collected in Joshua Tree National Park as part of an ongoing biodiversity survey.  This project aims to determine the degree of preservation offered by propylene glycol under ambient environmental conditions in the Desert Southwest. Various insects (bees, beetles, parasitic wasps, flies, bugs) will be evaluated.

QUALIFICATIONS: Some experience with laboratory/antiseptic protocols useful; requires patience and attention to detail.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Hone specimen dissection skills and transfer dissected specimens to sequencing plates, gain familiarity with Barcode Of Life Database interface via specimen data entry into BOLD spreadsheet. Depending on prior experience, may be trained in NMNH Laboratory of Analytical Biology in performing genomic extractions, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and sequencing reactions.

TIMETABLE: Spring Break

AWARD PACKAGE: None

Project Contact Name: Michael W. Gates

Phone: 202-633-4554

E-mail: michael.gates@ars.usda.gov/matt.buffington@ars.usda.gov