Last week we started our Lamp Assay detection process. LAMP is a new detection method that uses DNA analysis to detect the target organism. We are well on our way to developing a successful way to detect downy mildew. While improving our pipetting skills we ran several PCR tests. PCR is a DNA amplification process that certain DNA is present. This week we are going to start cucumber downy mildew cultures and put the finishing touches on our project.
This week Bryce and Sam worked on making agar plates. They started by drying hop leaves and then grinding them to a powder. Then they worked on mixing the agar ingredients. They sterilized the powder and agar ingredients and planned to mix the powder into the agar. The reason to add the powdered hops is because there is a necessary element in the hops that the mildew needs for growth. Their plan was a success and now they are waiting on a package to arrive so they can continue…
Down in room 604 at Brevard High School, the team of Sam and Bryce put the foot to the gas this week to get things done. Now that Sam and Bryce got through the stacks of papers they can move onto doing some real science! Sam and Bryce are hoping to find a new way to culture Hops Downy Mildew and to create a faster detection system for this Hop eating fungi. Last month Sam went to the Mountain Research Station in Fletcher to collect some samples. With Sam and Bryce on the job, there might just be hope for the hops yet!
Big butcher paper and Crayola markers for brainstorming in conjunction with a Google Chromebook for connecting to relevant research and researchers. This is how it all starts…an interest in HOPS and the drive to find a local question that NEEDS to be answered. Connections with researchers are crucial! Today Sam spent some TIME drafting an email to Dr. Jeanine Davis with the NC Cooperative Extension. As the N.C. Specialty Crops Program Coordinator, Dr. Davis has supervised an experimental hops field at the Mountain Research Station in Fletcher, NC. Talking to a researcher in the field? Invaluable!