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Dr. Tracey Anderson


In aquatic ecosystems, fungi play an essential role in decomposing leaves and making nutrients available to other organisms such as invertebrates and detritivores. Therefore, it is useful to quantify the amount of fungal biomass growing on submerged leaves, and this quantity can be estimated by measuring the chemical ergosterol, which is found only in fungi. Gessner (2005) developed an ergosterol extraction protocol using lipid extraction, purification with solid-phase extraction (SPE), and analysis with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). However, not all of the equipment mentioned in the protocol was available at the University of Minnesota-Morris. Therefore, the goal of this project was to adapt the Gessner (2005) ergosterol extraction protocol for use at the University of Minnesota-Morris using available materials


This research was done through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

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