Determining the Baseline
Post by Zoë and Modupe (ARISE student researchers)
After establishing the method for DNA collection, we could start to determine the baseline DNA levels for areas surrounding the Gowanus Canal. We chose to focus on 9th street, because 9th street between the Gowanus and 2nd avenue is a commonly flooded area. Thus, we collected samples from along 9th street in three locations — before 2nd avenue, after 2nd avenue, and after 3rd avenue. We compared the DNA yield in these three locations to understand if there is a difference between the microbial composition in areas in and out of the flood zone. We found significantly less DNA yield in the location inside the flood zone, than either of the two areas farther from flooding. As of now we are not sure of why we are getting these results — we are planning to run qPCR and sequence the DNA from all three locations to look for further differences.