Sequence Variations of Nucleotides in the rbcL Gene of Carnivorous Plants

Marco Suarez ASR Year 1

Ashley Torres ASR year 1

ASR Background:

Our names are Marco Suarez and Ashley Torres. We are both apart of the Advanced Science Research Program and also the Urban Barcode Program. We are both sophomores at Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics and we are ASR year 1 students. Our mentor for this project is a professor at York University. Ashley is Puerto Rican and Jamaican. Marco is Mexican American. We have both been accepted into a course at the American Museum of Natural History.

Research Institutes:

We have done most of our research at the Harlem DNA Lab.

 

NYC Urban Barcode


http://www.urbanbarcodeproject.org

Our Professor is from York University in Jamaica, Queen

York College Logo

http://www.york.cuny.edu

We are in the Advanced Science Research Program at Manhattan Center

Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics

 

Advanced Science Research Program

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract: 

The Ribulose Bisphosphate Carboxylase Large (rbcL) chloroplast gene has been found in many plants. It is commonly used to discover evolutionary patterns in plants. The purpose of our experiment is to investigate whether the rbcL gene shows any relationship among different carnivorous plants including the Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula), Tropical Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes), Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia), Sundew (Drosera), and the Butterwort (Pinguicula). Our hypothesis was that the rbcL gene would be the same throughout the plants. We used two different extraction methods; one was a procedure created by the Urban Barcode Program which is commonly used to extract DNA and the second method was developed by the Qiagen Company. We utilized commercially prepared beads as well as the standard master mix for PCR. We also used diluted and undiluted samples. These methods allowed us to compare and contrast the nucleotides of the rbcL gene in the carnivorous plants of interest. The results of the study showed that although there is nucleotide variation, some plants show similarities. Therefore these species could have originated from a common ancestor and may, in fact, be sister plants.

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Plant samples used in the research project

 

Research Motivation:

We want to study this because we want to broaden what is known about carnivorous plants.  These plants have always been an interesting and amazing plant to us.
Results:

We analyzed our sequences on DNA Subway blue line with trimming the sequences, pairing the forward and reverse sequences together, blasting, and aligning the sequences. All sequences had an e value of 0.0 indicating no matches by chance. When we compared the carnivorous plants it showed that they are in some way similar to each other.  Sample 1, which is the Tropical Pitcher Plant is more related to the Pitcher Plant by 94.15% and less related to the Butterwort by 82.06%. The Venus Fly Trap is more related to the Tropical Pitcher Plant by 93.33% and is less related to the Butterwort by 80.29%. The Pitcher Plant is more related to the Tropical Pitcher Plant by the 94.15% but its less related to the Butterwort by 83.14%. The Sundew is more related to the Tropical Pitcher Plant by 93.82% and less related to the Butterwort by 81.70%. The Butterwort is more related to the Pitcher Plant by 83.14% and less related to the Venus Fly Trap by 80.29%.

Disscussion;

Our results indicate that some of the carnivorous plants are related to each other. Since there is a relationship between four of the carnivorous plants to the Tropical Pitcher Plant, it shows that the carnivorous plants have a relationship to each other. Also four of the carnivorous plants are less related to the Butterwort. If all plants are more related to one plant it means that they are similar to each other too, and they have the least related plant, which was the butterwort. It showed that most of the carnivorous plants are related to the Tropical Pitcher Plant, but all of them they are less related to the Butterwort. The results also indicate that there may be an evolutionary relationship between the plants.

CLADOGRAM

This cladogram shows the evolutionary relationship between the carnivorous plants.

 

 

Lab Photos:

Ashley creating the leaf sample

Ashley creating the leaf sample

Marco placing leaf sample in container

Marco placing leaf sample in container

Ashley and Professor Adams placing samples into gel electrophoresis

Ashley and Professor Adams placing samples into gel electrophoresis

 

The gel electrophoresis of the plant sample

The gel electrophoresis of the plant sample

 

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