The goal of this project is to establish new protocols for screening environmental samples for the presence of Oomycetes. Bioinformatic approaches will be used to design primers that will specifically amplify Oomycete sequences from bulk samples obtained at the Millport Conservancy in Warwick Township (http://www.millportconservancy.org). Water sampling and direct baiting methods will be tested. The expected outcome of this project is the preliminary identification of Oomycetes present in Lititz Run.
Assistant Professor Jaime Blair (F&M) and Ms. Monique Gomez (teacher, McCaskey East High School) deploying Oomycete bait bags in the Lititz Run, Millport Conservancy. Bait bags contain wounded and unwounded rhododendron leaves, which may become infected by Oomycetes (water molds) naturally residing in the water. The bait bags are collected after seven days, and the leaves are then processed in Dr. Blair’s laboratory at F&M.