Date of Graduation

5-2017

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Environmental Studies

Second Department or Program

Biology

Number of Pages

27

First Advisor

Donald Dearborn

Abstract

This study looks to amplify Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon DNA fragments within Leach’s storm petrel blood samples, with the goal of a broader understanding of how the presence of these parasites interact with this seabird’s immune system. The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a very large genomic complex present in all vertebrates with a conserved purpose in immune function, meaning that any understanding of its function within various species can point to similarities in its function within human immune systems. This study trials three different methodologies, Hellgren 2004, Levin 2011 and Waldenstrom 2004, in its attempt to find the most efficient method for the amplification of parasitic DNA within storm petrel blood samples. All three of these methods are nested PCR reactions which involve the use of parasitic primers known to amplify members of the Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon families. This study found that the Waldenstrom 2004 methodology with the use of TaKaRa products was the most effective at amplifying these parasitic DNA fragments within the storm petrel blood samples, but because of the presence of contamination within our samples the amplification from this method is inconclusive and future trials will be necessary to clarify the effectiveness of this method.

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