NorthenLab: Exometabolomics linking genomes with environments to understand how webs of microbes sustain biomes

Northen Lab researchers participate in BLDAP for third year

Northen Lab members Ying Wang, Vlastimil Novak, Pete Andeer, Amber Golini, and Kshitiz (KZ) Gupta are participating in the Berkeley Lab Director’s Apprenticeship Program (BLDAP), which is a high school STEM program designed to help students improve their research skills, learn about LBL, and develop a network with STEM professionals. This year’s participation in the BLDAP is the third consecutive year that the Northen Lab has contributed a project. The initial EcoFAB project for the BLDAP was developed in 2020 by Lauren Jabusch.

Image: EcoFAB boxes (left) and EcoFABs ready to be packed into kits (right)
Image: EcoFABs with students’ plants

For the 2022 project, students grew the model plant Brachypodium distachyon in EcoFABs and studied how the plant responds to different levels of nitrogen. Students were given EcoFAB kits that included EcoFABs, media, seeds, and tools to set up their experiments. Seeds were germinated and transferred to EcoFABs that contained either +N or -N media, after which students recorded their observations while the plants were growing. Once the experiment was complete, the students measured the roots and shoots, and quantified other aspects of their plants such as the number of root branches and leaves. 

The Northen Lab is excited to share a passion for science with participants in the BLDAP and looks forward to more outreach opportunities! Learn more about the BLDAP or previous outreach projects in the Northen Lab

Image: Amber Golini (left) assists students as they retrieve their germinated plants from the grow tent

Image: Ying Wang (right) and students get their PPE prior to working with media and EcoFABs

Image: Vlastimil Novak (center) supervises as students transplant their seedlings into EcoFABs

Image: KZ (left) helps students with transferring media into EcoFABs with growing plants.

Image: Students harvest their plants for measuring