Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer 2013 Internship: Joint Post #5 from Kala Marks and Curtis Okolovitch

This week Curtis and I have focused on 1) starting a growth experiment with different concentrations of COREXIT and 2) getting all of the equipment set up for total petroleum hydrocarbon analysis on the gas chromatograph (measuring oil degradation). Curtis has been in charge of setting up the COREXIT experiment. We are testing one of our isolates, Acinetobacter, which we have been doing oil degradation experiments with this summer, for growth on COREXIT. We are testing four different concentrations of COREXIT, ranging from 0.01% to 1% (v/v) COREXIT:artificial seawater medium. Eventually we hope to test how the addition of COREXIT to oil affects oil degradation. COREXIT is soluble in water, so, when we add it to the medium, the medium becomes cloudy. The cloudiness makes it difficult to visually determine if the cultures are growing. Therefore, we started counting cells to measure growth. This is a very long and tedious process compared to measuring growth using the spectrophotometer, but, as microbiologists, cell counting is probably something we should know how to do. As for getting the GC set up, all of the equipment that we need to do the oil extraction and analyze the samples on the GC has arrived. I spent this week making a standard curve, and by next week we should be ready to analyze the samples we prepared two weeks ago. Hopefully, by next week we’ll be able to report back on the growth experiment and the oil analysis!

The flask on the left has COREXIT added to it while the flask on the right is just an artificial sea water medium without COREXIT.
Flasks with different concentrations of COREXIT. From left to right: 1%, 0.1%, 0.02%, and 0.01% COREXIT.

Until Next Time,
Kala & Curtis (a.k.a. “The Deep-C Duo”)
Georgia Tech

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