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BGSU researchers harness power of genome institute for Great Lakes study
Date:11/3/2011

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- A project by three Bowling Green State University biologists and a colleague is expected to unleash a virtual tsunami of information that will be usable for years to come not only by them but also by scientists worldwide studying greenhouse gases and lake ecosystems.

Drs. George Bullerjahn, Michael McKay and Paul Morris's study of the Great Lakes and "dead zones" in Lake Erie was one of only 41 projects chosen for support this year by the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genomic Institute (DOE JGI).

The institute will sequence both the DNA and RNA of microbial inhabitants of the central basin of Lake Erie -- the spot where "dead zones," or areas where there is no oxygen, typically occur seasonally.

"It's a natural progression of the work we have been carrying on for several years," said McKay, the Ryan Professor of Biology and director of the Marine Program at BGSU. "Genomic data will complement our ongoing National Science Foundation-funded research on nitrogen cycling in the Great Lakes as well as the monitoring of dissolved greenhouse gases in Lake Erie by our colleagues at Environment Canada." Dr. Richard Bourbonierre of Environment Canada is the fourth member of the research team.

The new project will include data collected in the summer months, whereas the group had previously concentrated more on winter environments.

The BGSU team had several factors making its proposal competitive. The team can draw upon more than 30 years of data collected by the EPA and Environment Canada; it has in-kind support from Environment Canada, the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and it has students trained in the analysis of genomes as part of another DOE JGI project Morris was involved in (See http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/mc/news/2007/news42590.html).

The work holds great prom
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Contact: Jen Sobolewski
jsobole@bgsu.edu
419-372-8582
Bowling Green State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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