This is a hands-on laboratory workshop in for students enrolled at College of the Atlantic.
The course will determine how skin bacteria influence zebrafish fin regeneration. Zebrafish, as one of the few vertebrates with limb regeneration capacity, have been found to regenerate more efficiently in the presence of antibiotics treatment, suggesting that bacteria present in the fish are negatively influencing regeneration. This course will explore the type of bacteria that are present on the zebrafish skin during regeneration and determine how different bacteria influence the regeneration process. Students will take skin swabs from the regenerating fins at various time points after amputation and grow the isolated bacteria on agar plates. The students will subsequently perform molecular studies on the bacteria colonies, such as PCR and sequencing, to identify individual bacteria strains. Finally the students will explore the effects of antibiotics treatment on bacteria populations and how these bacteria influence fin regeneration. The students participating in this course will work in small groups and present their findings at the end of the course. Students will learn about microbiology, DNA isolation techniques, PCR, DNA sequencing and sequence analysis, microscopy and statistical analysis of the data.
Students and faculty reside off-campus.
This course is supported by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P20GM103423.