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Title: A preliminary assessment of the effects of EM radiation on eubacterial genomes
Authors: Aquilina, Maria
Bellia, Andrea Francesca
Meekers, Leah
Borg, Joseph
Borg, Josef
Zarb Adami, Kristian
Lanfranco, Sandro
Keywords: Radiation
Issue Date: 2020-08
Citation: Aquilina, M., Bellia, A.F., Meekers, L., Borg, J., Borg, J., Zarb Adami, K., Lanfranco, S. (2020). A preliminary assessment of the effects of EM radiation on eubacterial genomes. European Astrobiology Network Association (EANA) Virtual Meeting 2020
Abstract: The effect of EM radiation on living organisms is well characterised and is a principal cause of genetic mutation. Nonetheless, several species are able to tolerate relatively high levels of short-wavelength radiation without undergoing apparent harm. The investigation of such extremophiles provides deeper insight into the characteristics which allow them to tolerate such abiotic conditions. The primary aim of our project was to investigate the impact of 2.8 GHz radiation on changes in DNA sequences. This microwave frequency was chosen since it is a preferred one for monitoring of solar activity. The main focus was specifically on a genetically-modified sample of DH5 alpha (E. coli). The procedure consisted of irradiating monoclonal samples of DH5 alpha with radio waves at a frequency of 2.8 GHz for periods of 24 or 48 hours inside an anechoic chamber. The irradiated samples and untreated controls were transferred into a nutrient broth and left overnight within a shaking chamber prior to DNA extraction. Whole genome sequencing of these samples was carried out and the data were used for comparative genomics to obtain a list of variant DNA sequences between control and irradiated microorganisms. Bioinformatic analysis is currently ongoing, and data presented are still preliminary. Further work in this regard would involve using different frequencies of EM radiation and different prokaryotes.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacSciBio

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