On October 28, 2016, Dr. Ed Schneider, Associate Professor of Biology at East Georgia State College, and two EGSC Bachelor of Biology students, Joleishia Cooper and Alicia Winfrey, attended the 5th Annual Regional Undergraduate Research Symposium at Albany State University in Albany, Ga. Both students presented posters at the event.
Cooper’s poster, entitled “Octanol:Water Extraction of Pigments from Algae and Cyanobacteria,” encompassed the research she and Winfrey undertook under the supervision of Dr. Schneider. Cooper presented data showing that chlorophyll and phycocyanine could be simultaneously extracted from the cyanobacterium Limnothrix with the biphasic system octanol:water. Octanol disrupted the cell membrane and released the two pigments. Chlorophyll dissolved in the upper octanol phase, while phycocyanine dissolved in the lower aqueous phase. This procedure may allow an improved method for assessing environmental water for harmful algal blooms.
Winfrey’s poster, entitled “Identification of New microRNAs in Dunaliella salina,” outlined the research she did under the supervision of Dr. David Chevalier, Interim Director of Biology at EGSC. Winfrey presented her results on the identification of microRNAs, which are small RNA molecules involved in the regulation of gene expression. This research is the continuation of the collaboration between Dr. Chevalier and Dr. Glen Borcheret from the University of South Alabama.