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					        Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Design
                                Program
                              28 April 2006
8:30 - 11:30 AM Poster Session (Ballroom)

8:30 - 11:45 Senior Design Presentations (du Bois Meeting Rooms)

8:30 - 11:45 Environmental Sciences Oral Presentations (Gardner
             Auditorium, College of Business Administration)

12:00 – 1:30 Lunch (Ballroom, Lunch served beginning at noon)
Laura Huenneke, Dean College of Engineering & Natural Sciences
Jerry Charlow, Luncheon Speaker, Raytheon Missile Systems
                   “Pursuit of Excellence in Education”
1:30 - 4:30 PM Poster Session (Ballroom)
2

                                                     du Bois
Gardner                                              Center
Auditorium-                                          (Bldg.
College of                                           63&64)
Business
Administration
(Bldg. 81)




N
                          Agassiz
                                        Fremont



       Meadows




                 South-
                 West



                          Restrooms

                                    Main Entrance
                                    du Bois Center
                                                                                                3
                   MORNING POSTER SESSION 8:30 – 11:30
NOTE: Odd numbered posters will be attended 8:30-10:00, even numbers from 10:00-11:30

P1) Sexual Dimorphism in the Pycnogonid Ammothea hilgendorfi (Cole, 1904) Kerry Quarry,
Bonnie Bain, Fredric Govedich, Stephen Shuster, Department of Biological Sciences, NAU,
Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P2) Trace Element Analysis of Cerro Pizarro, Mexico:
Chemical Dissimilarities and Tectonic Implications Rob Ross, Nancy Riggs, Department of
Geology, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P3) Effects of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Light on Mycorrhizal Symbioses Trenton Baker,
Ryan McGuire, and Nancy Collins Johnson
Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P4) “Cracking the Weevil: Behavioral plasticity of feeding as a function of prey hardness in the
Collard Lizard” Justin P. Henningsen, A. Kristopher Lappin, and Kiisa C. Nishikawa, Dept. of
Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P5) Rotation Periods for Solar and Late-type Stars in the Open Cluster M34 Timothy Ireland
Calver and Dr. Sydney Barnes (Lowell Observatory), Department of Physics and Astronomy,
NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P6) Determining the relationship of North American "cyphioids" among themselves and other
Campanulales. Keri Stiverson, Department of Biological Sciences, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.

P7) Feasibility of Donating Northern Arizona University Catering and Dining Services Food
Surplus to Charitable Organizations
Bret Wojciak, Center for Environmental Sciences and Education, Box 5694 NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.

P8) Fuel Oxidation During Walking on Grades C. Morris, S. Trancik, N. Menasco, J.R. Coast.
Exercise Science Program, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P9) Does Social Status Affect Seed Handling in Pinyon Jays?
Harter, L., Benford. R., & Balda, R.P., Department of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.

P10) Characterization of the C-terminus of P22 Tailspike Protein
Sarsati Gurung and Matthew J. Gage Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.

P11) In Vitro Plasmid DNA Cleavage by Chromium(VI) and Chromium (V) Complexes
Michelle R. Romanotto and Diane M. Stearns, Ph.D.; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
4
P12) Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Coxiella burnetti
Shalamar Georgia, Christina Clark, Jana U‟Ren, Heidie Hornstra, Talima Pearson, James Schupp,
James Samuel, Richard Okinaka, Herbert Thompson, and Paul Keim Center for Microbial
Genetics and Genomics, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Northern Arizona
University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P13) Human Leukocyte Killing of Mutant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms Kara Levinson,
Ashley Teeling, Allie Smith, Gabriel Moreno, George O‟Toole, Jeff Leid, Dept. of Microbiology,
NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P14) Responses of Mycorrhizal Fungal Hyphae to Arsenic and Phosphorous Rebekka M.
Rieder, Monica Markley, Richard Foust, and Nancy C. Johnson Center for Environmental
Sciences and Education, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P15) Genetic structure and gene flow within the canyon: An analysis of Grand Canyon
populations of Populus fremontii. Katie Mayer, Barb Honchak, Gery Allan Department of
Biological Sciences NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

P16) Isolation and characterization of a salt tolerant zygospore mutant of Chlamydomonas
monoica Jessica Henleya and Karen VanWinkle-Swiftb, aCenter for Environmental Sciences and
Education, bDepartment of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P17) Uranium characterization in Blackfalls, Arizona: How data is presented and utilized to
gain feedback from the community Temashio Anderson and Jani C. Ingram, Department of
Chemistry & Biochemistry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P18) Genomic Instability in Yeast and Cancer. Marlene Begay1, Ted Weinert2 and Alison
        Adams1. 1Northern Arizona University and 2Arizona Cancer Center, UA

P19) Testing the Deletion of Part of the Right Arm of Yeast Chromosome VII and Its Impact on
Chromosomal Instability in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. Danita R. Davis1, Ted Weinert2, Alison
Adams1. 1Department of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011. 2Arizona Cancer Center,
University of Arizona.

P20) Martian central pit craters. E. Hillman and N. G. Barlow, Dept. Physics and Astronomy,
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-6010, eah42@dana.ucc.nau.edu,
Nadine.Barlow@nau.edu.

P21) Characterization of Host-Bacteriophage Dynamics in Alvord Desert Hot Springs, Oregon
M.H. Howard1, M.A. Ochoa2, J.L. Keams2, D.W. Helzer2, M.E. Watwood2 1-NorthWind Inc.,
Idaho Falls, ID 2-Department of Biological Sciences, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P22) Chemical Compound Inhibitors of Complement System Found in Waste Water
Pedro Peña and Dr. Paul Torrence Chemistry Dept. NAU, Flagstaff, Az 86011
                                                                                                5
MSD Graduates
P23) Morphology of the Feeding Apparatus in Aquatic Frogs C. A. Carreño & K. C. Nishikawa,
Department of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P24) Identification of Genes that, When Over-Expressed, Increase Genomic Instability in Yeast
Patricia Chan, Ted Weinert 2, Alison Adams1
1
  Department of Biological Science, Northern Arizona University 2Department of Molecular and
Cellular Biology, University of Arizona

P25) Variation in habitat and reproductive ecology of Acanthina angelica in the northern Gulf
of California Raena Cota

P26) Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping of key ecosystem and community traits in naturally
occurring cottonwood hybrid zones. Zinkgraf, Matthew S.; Woolbright, Scott; Allan, Gery;
Whitham, Thomas Northern Arizona University, Biological Sciences, Flagstaff, AZ 86001




AM Oral Presentations 8:30-11:45 (see brochure for detailed schedules)


Engineering Capstone Design Presentations
Meadows Room (Dr.s Hewes and Larson, moderators)

Agassiz Room (Drs. Tester and Stone, moderators)

Fremont Room (Drs. Trotta and Otte, moderators)

Southwest Room (Dr. Doerry, moderator)

Room A, upstairs (Drs. Cremillion and Trotta, moderators)




Environmental Sciences Oral Presentations
Gardner Auditorium, College of Business Administration (Dr. Anderson, moderator)
6
                   AFTERNOON POSTER SESSION 1:30 – 4:00
NOTE: Odd numbered posters will be attended 1:30-3:00, even numbers from 3:00-4:30

P1) Probing for Induced Structure in Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Trenton L. Baker1 ,
Matthew J. Gage2
 1
   Department of Biology and 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU,Flagstaff, AZ
86011

P2) Feasibility of Using a Biomass Generator to Meet the Gas and Electric Needs of Northern
Arizona University Conducted by: Adam Hamburg Center for Environmental Sciences and
Education, Northern Arizona University

P3) Feasibility of Biodiesel Fuel Use on Northern Arizona University’s Campus Adam
Hamburg Center for Environmental Sciences and Education, Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

P4) Combination of Cell Lysis and Transesterification of Cell Lipids for Biodiesel Production
using the Diatom Cyclotella cryptica
Steven Blazewicz and Egbert Schwartz, Ph.D. Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry,
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P5) C-Terminus and DNA Binding Domain Interactions of Protein p53 Casey Goodyear,
Department of Chemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P6) Comet assay analysis of DNA damage induced by chromium picolinate. Alejandro Lencinas,
Craig S. Asplund, Virginia H. Coryell, Ph.D., and Diane M. Stearns, Ph.D. Department of
Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona

P7) Characterization of Organic Contaminant Extraction from Aqueous Samples Jessica S.
Creamer and Jani C. Ingram, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Northern Arizona
University, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011

P8) Ammonia- oxidizing bacteria (amoA) community in different precipitation levels. Allison
Mapes, Egbert Schwartz, Karen Adair. Department of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ,
86011.

P9) Atmospheric fate and transport of air parcels originating in the Coconino National Forest
during the prescribed fire season. Matthew Quarterman, Christine Brindley, Lindsay Zack, and
Marin Robinson Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P10) Genomic Instability in Yeast and Cancer: Does over-expression of the RRM3 gene of
yeast cause an increase in genomic instability?
Jason Tidwell1, Ted Weinert2 and Alison Adams1. 1Northern Arizona University and 2Arizona
Cancer Center, UA
                                                                                              7
P11) One needle or two? Drought tolerance and genetic determination of pinyon needle
number. Ky Macktima-Borhauer, Amy Whipple, Center for Environmental Sciences, Northern
Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P12) Hydrophobic soils as a function of fire severity, Mount Trumbull, Arizona Fuller,
Claire, and Middleton, Larry, Department of Geology, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P13) Genetic diversity of Yersinia pestis isolates from Wyoming
Candyce Bair, Rebecca Colman, Yoshi Nemoto, Amy Vogler, Dave Wagner, and Paul Keim
Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences,
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P14) Isolation of Infective Pairs of Toluene-Degrading Bacteria and Bacteriophage from
Aeration Tank Water at the Rio de Flag Water Reclamation Facility K. Eilers, C. LaViolette, M.
Ochoa, M. Scales, M Watwood Department of Biology, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P15) Assessment of Bioremediation Potential in Contaminated Groundwater in Tucson, AZ
Danielle Conley, Kellie Shamrell, Scott Clingenpeel, Maribeth Watwood Biology Department

P16) GC/MS and ATR-FTIR Analyses of Fine Particulate Matter in Smoke from Prescribed
Fire Christine Brindley, Lindsay Zack, Matthew Quarterman, and Marin Robinson, Department of
Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P17) Multiple-Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat Analysis Reveals Genetic Diversity
among Human and Soil Isolates of Burkholderia pseudomallei from Northeast Thailand.
Benjamin Leadem, Jana U‟Ren, Heidie Hornstra, Talima Pearson, James Schupp, Christine Clark,
Shalamar Georgia, Rasana Sermswan, and Paul Keim Center for Microbial Genetics and
Genomics, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff,
AZ 86011

P18) DNA Crosslinking in Chinese Hamster Ovary AA8 Cells When Exposed to Uranyl Acetate
as Determined by the Comet Assay.
Hertha Woody and Diane M. Stearns, Ph.D.; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P19) The Effects of Uranyl Nitrate on DNA in the Presence of Organic Ligands Aaron M.
Whittaker, Virginia H. Coryell, Ph.D., Diane M. Stearns, Ph.D.; Department of Chemistry and
Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011


P20) Cytotoxicity of Combined Exposures of Uranyl Acetate and Sodium Arsenite in CHO Cells
Sheryl L. Martinez,1 R. Clark Lantz,Ph.D.2 and Diane M. Stearns, Ph.D.;1 1Department of
Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, Arizona; 2Department of Cell Biology and
Anatomy, University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona
8
 P21) Analysis of DNA Cross-links Induced by Hexavalent Chromium
Julia A. Mackey, Virginia H. Coryell, Ph.D., Diane M. Stearns, Ph.D.;
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P22) Examination of water relations in pinyon pine with ancient DNA Bethany Riggins, Amy
Whipple, Kristen Haskins Biology Department, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P23) The genetic landscape of Bacillus anthracis samples from textile mills in Dillon County,
SC Alyssa Smith, Molly Mathews, Xenia Kachur, Amy Welty-Bernard, Leo Kenefic, David
Wagner, and Paul Keim Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics, College of Engineering and
Natural Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P24) Panoche-Tumey Hills Paleoseep Geochemistry of Carbonate Minerals with Analysis from
a Scanning Electron Microscope Jason Trautschold, James Sample, Geology Department, NAU,
Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P25) Additions to the Vertebrate Fauna of the Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) Naco Formation,
Central Arizona Dylan P. Rust, David K. Elliott Department of Geology, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.

P26) An analysis of genetic variation of Dermacentor variabilis using AFLP markers, a
preliminary study Julia Rhodes, Chris Allender, Rebecca Coleman, Paul Keim, and David
Wagner Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics, College of Engineering and Natural
Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P27) The genetic diversity of Francisella tularensis in Oklahoma
Kimberly Underwood, Julia Rhodes, Amy Vogler, Dave Wagner, and Paul Keim Center for
Microbial Genetics and Genomics, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Northern
Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P28) Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm bacteria deficient in flagellar production are
susceptible to human leukocyte killing in early, but not late, biofilm
development Candice Selgado

P29) A Quantitative Analysis of Tattoo Inks Haley Finley-Jones, Jani C. Ingram, PhD,
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P30) Purification of the DNA Binding Domain in p53 Ellie J. Heintze, Matthew J. Gage,
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P31) Determination of Uranium in Plants near Abandoned
Uranium Mines in Cameron, Arizona
Colleen Cooley, Jani C. Ingram, Nancy Johnson
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
                                                                                              9
P32) Chemical Characterization of Well Water on the Navajo Reservation Ronda Francis, Jani
C. Ingram. Department of Chemistry and UMEB, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ

P33) Dynamics of Thymidine Kinase Enzyme for Controlling Inhibition of Emulated Smallpox
Nataly I. Vadasz, Robert Smith, Paul Torrence Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
College of Engineering and Natural Sciences Northern Arizona University

P34) Effects of Endosulfan on Thyroid Hormone-Dependent Development
Jennifer Soto-Peña, J., Schwendiman, A., Searcy, B., Propper, C.R. Department of Biological
Sciences and Department of Biochemistry and Chemistry, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P35) Fungal Community Characterization: Using TRFLP to Compare Fungal Communities
Associated with Decomposing Leaf Litter in Fossil Creek, Arizona D.L. Kellerman, S.A.
Nelson, B.L. Harrop, M.E. Watwood; Department of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.
P36) Photovoltaic Cell Cold Climate Testing Brian Saunders, John Campbell, Jaclyn Stevens,
Mark Ibarra Mechanical Engineering

P37) Boundary Approximation Using B-Spline Curves and Genetic Algorithms
Mike Thomson and Dr. Phillip Mlsna, Electrical Engineering Department, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.

P38) Computational Fluid Dynamic Study of a Drosophila Wing Authors: Tarek Salameh, Dr.
Jan Theorn, Dr. Earl Duque Department: Mechanical Engineering Deparment

P39) Infrared to Radio Frequency Remote Control Translator C. Franz, J. King, K. Kirkpatrick,
N. Lamar, N. Rodriguez, A. Souris, J. Tolby, A. Tomlinson, J. Wheeler, Electrical Engineering,
NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P40) Morphology of Gunnison Prairie Dog Burrows Kara Lewis and Jennifer Verdolin Dept. of
Environmental Sciences, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

P41) Evaluation and analysis of an environmental conservation campaign at Northern Arizona
University By Jessica Popp, Department of Environmental Sciences, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011

P42) Remote sensing and dendrochronology of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests in
relation to drought effects in Northern Arizona. Michael Barber1 and George Koch2
1
  Department of Environmental Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
2
  Department of Biology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
10

P43) Development and utilization of an In-Stream Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) Tag
System in the Monitoring of Coregonid movements on the Kuskokwim River, Alaska Montoya,
Jason D. Center For Environmental Science and Education, CENS, NAU Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kenai Fish and Wildlife Field Office, P.O. Box 1670, Kenai, AK
99611.
P44) Effects of Harness Attached Radio Transmitters on Pinyon Jays
Christian A. Nunes, Russell Benford, Russell P. Balda
Avian Cognition Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

P45) Fossil Creek: A Post Dam Water Chemistry Analysis Matthew Germansen, Dr. Rod Parnell.
Environmental Science, NAU, Flagstaff, Az 86001

P46) Vegetation Responses to Long-Term Livestock Grazing and Habitat Jon Bakker, Faith
RudebuschEnvironmental Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.




                                     MSD Graduates
                                      Afternoon Session

P47) Establishing a Stable Nuclear Transformation System in Chlamydomonas monoica
Cesar Fuentes and Karen VanWinkle-Swift, Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

 P48) Uranium Causes Rapid Estrogen Receptor-Dependant Responses
in Mcf-7 Human Breast Cancer Cells Julie E. Getz, Marilee Sellers, Stefanie R. Whish, Cheryl
A. Dyer Department of Biological Sciences, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences,
Northern Arizona University, PO Box 5640 Flagstaff, AZ 86011
                                                                                                  11
                                       ABSTRACTS

                                AM SESSION 8:30 – 11:30
NOTE: Odd numberd posters will be attended 8:30-10:00, even numbers from 10:00-11:30


P1) Sexual Dimorphism in the Pycnogonid Ammothea hilgendorfi (Cole, 1904) Kerry Quarry,
Bonnie Bain, Fredric Govedich, Stephen Shuster, Department of Biological Sciences, NAU,
Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
   Sea spiders show varying degrees of sex role reversal. Males are smaller than females and
possess specialized limbs (ovigers) for offspring care. These differences probably arose via sexual
selection, making the Pycnogonida well suited for investigating this. Since there is very little
information available on the degree of sexual dimorphism in sea spiders, we obtained specimens
of a common California species, A. hilgendorfi, and documented the differences between male and
female walking legs. Female pycnogonids carry the mature ova in the first several segments of
their walking legs (coxae 2-3, femur), with the bulk of their ova in the femur. The male gonad is
located in these same segments, but it occupies a much smaller volume than the female gonad.
Femur length and three different femur widths (coxal end, midfemur, tibial end) were measured
for each specimen (n = 4) and areas were calculated. Results showed a significant difference in
area between male and female femurs. Femur length was not significantly different, but femur
width was. Females had longer midfemur/coxal end width and midfemur/tibial end width
compared to males.




P2) Trace Element Analysis of Cerro Pizarro, Mexico: Chemical Dissimilarities and Tectonic
Implications Rob Ross, Nancy Riggs, Department of Geology, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Cerro Pizarro is an isolated intermontaine rhyolite dome in the eastern Trans-Mexican Volcanic
Belt (TMVB). Ar/Ar dating has indicated that the oldest and youngest layers are separated by
almost 200 ka. Initial x-ray diffraction studies showed near-identical chemical similarities in these
layers, indicating a possible monogenetic source that was reactivated after a 50 ka hiatus,
contradicting current models of siliceous dome emplacement.
    The initial activity of Cerro Pizarro consisted of deep vent-clearing explosions, with deposits
containing clasts containing basement rocks comprising Cretaceous limestone, 0.46 Ma welded
tuff, and basaltic lava. Explosive eruptions during the early phases of dome growth produced an
alternating sequence of surge and fallout layers. As the dome grew, a glassy carapace developed,
followed by a partial gravitational collapse, producing block-and-ash flow deposits. After a brief
repose, magma reinjection resulted in the formation of a cryptodome, resulting in the collapse of
the western flank and a debris avalanche. An eruptive hiatus followed, with the final phase of
growth and deformation producing more surge and fallout layers, mantling the current topography
around the dome.
    In order to examine the implications of this atypical lava dome, higher-resolution chemical
study was undertaken to determine the similarities and differences between samples.
12
P3) Effects of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Light on Mycorrhizal Symbioses Trenton Baker,
Ryan McGuire, and Nancy Collins Johnson Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona
University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi form symbiotic relationships with plants through root
colonization. They are ubiquitous in most temperate and tropical ecosystems, and their
importance to plant fitness and community structure is clearly established, but the actual
mechanisms causing these effects are not yet understood. In order to utilize AM symbioses for
restoration, horticulture, and agriculture we need to understand the mechanisms underlying
mycorrhizal function. We are using a controlled greenhouse experiment to test the hypothesis that
nitrogen, phosphorous, and light availability affect the balance of costs and benefits in the
symbiosis. This will help us to determine whether the AM fungi are mutualistic or parasitic to the
plant. Big Bluestem grass (Andropogon gerardii) is being grown in artificial soil with an N:P
gradient of seven different regularly applied nutrient solutions. We are characterizing the growth
and health of these plants in both high light and low light, with two different AM fungi, Glomus
intraradices and Gigaspora gigantea, and a no AM control. During the plant growth period we
are measuring the response variables of plant height, color (pigmentation), blade number, and
flower phenology (after maturation). These variables will give us insight into the plant‟s overall
health. After harvest we will measure shoot and root biomass (fresh and oven dried), AM fungal
colonization in roots, and extraradical hyphal lengths. These data will illustrate the status of the
AM fungi in the symbiosis. Here we present some of the preliminary response data along with our
expectations of future results.




P4) “Cracking the Weevil: Behavioral plasticity of feeding as a function of prey hardness in the
Collard Lizard” Justin P. Henningsen, A. Kristopher Lappin, and Kiisa C. Nishikawa, Dept. of
Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
   A number of studies have demonstrated that lizards modify their feeding behavior based upon
prey characteristics. However, in their experimental design, few of these studies have considered
natural prey items. Collard lizards (Crotaphytus collaris) provide a system for examining the
effects of the hardness of prey on feeding behavior, as they regularly consume hard prey,
particularly curculionid beetles (weevils). The diet of C. collaris also includes orthopterans,
including gryllids (crickets). We used crushing tests with a force transducer to measure prey
hardness and high-speed digital imaging (250 fps) of feeding sequences to examine the effects of
prey hardness on feeding (i.e., prey processing) behavior. We found that (1) curculionids require
an order of magnitude more force to crush than crickets, and (2) curculionids induced longer
processing times and greater numbers of processing bites than did crickets. Studies that focus on
natural extreme behaviors, such as this one, provide a powerful empirical basis for the study of
adaptive morphological and behavioral evolution.
                                                                                                             13


P5) Rotation Periods for Solar and Late-type Stars in the Open Cluster M34 Timothy Ireland Calver and
Dr. Sydney Barnes (Lowell Observatory), Department of Physics and Astronomy, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.
   This project encompasses the analysis of variable stars in the open cluster M34, attempting to find
correlations between stellar period and mass. Using astronomical techniques and differential photometry,
time series were created for objects of interest. These variable stars were analyzed for
variability and periodicity, resulting in color-periodicity diagrams that will be examined for relationships
between stellar period and stellar mass. A better understanding of these relationships will greatly increase our
understanding of the evolution of standard rotation. The working nature of this project involved all processes
from data reduction of existing images, variable star identification, differential photometry analysis, to color-
periodicity analysis and interpretation. Once the links between stellar period and age are understood, one
possible application could be determining the evolution and age of individual stars from their detected
rotation rates, allowing for the classification and identification of star types with high probabilities of
harboring planetary systems. Funding for this project was provided by the Undergraduate Research Internship
Program (UGRI), sponsored by the NAU/NASA Space Grant Program.




P6) Determining the relationship of North American "cyphioids" among themselves and other
Campanulales. Keri Stiverson, Department of Biological Sciences, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.
    Evolutionary relationships in desert annual plants of the arid West are difficult to discern
because of the limited time in which these plants are available for study. Due to the rare
observance or documentation of these plants, many populations and perhaps entire species are
threatened by the expansive development of the desert southwest. The desert annual of particular
interest in this proposal, from the genus Nemacladus, is extremely small and largely non-descript.
Most species are rarely collected even in years of adequate rainfall. This genus of North
American bell flowers is important from an evolutionary perspective because their floral
morphology is so peculiar their relationship to other bell flowers, as well as among themselves, is
not clear. They have been variously treated as genera in the Campanulaceae, in the Lobeliaceae,
or as a separate small family of flowering plants. Preliminary molecular data based on sequences
of ribosomal DNA suggest that the North American "cyphioids" are more closely related to the
Campanula family and appear to be basal to the rest of the genera. If these preliminary data are
supported by more substantial molecular studies a revision of family delimitations in the order
Campanulales will be necessary.
    Special thanks for funding are extended to the Hooper Undergraduate Research Award
Program.
14
P7) Feasibility of Donating Northern Arizona University Catering and DiningServices Food
Surplus to Charitable Organizations Bret Wojciak, Center for Environmental Sciences and
Education, 
 Box 5694 NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    This project investigated the feasibility of donating food surplus from NAU catering and dining
services to charitable organization within the Flagstaff community. The project involved an
investigation of how much food can be saved on average through donation, a list of all charitable
organizations available for food donations in the community, a list of all costs or other
requirements involved in the donation process. The outcome of this project includes a proposed
food donation program for the university. If initiated, the success of this program has the potential
to feed many less fortunate individuals within the community; and will help NAU and the
Flagstaff community in its efforts to function in a more sustainable manner.




P8) Fuel Oxidation During Walking on Grades C. Morris, S. Trancik, N. Menasco, J.R. Coast.
Exercise Science Program, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
      The human central nervous system chooses a preferred walking speed (PWS) based on
minimizing carbohydrate usage during walking. Previous research by Willis, et al has shown that
PWS is below a threshold speed where carbohydrate (CHO) oxidation abruptly begins to increase.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether CHO oxidation rapidly increases at speeds
greater than the PWS when subjects walk at varying grades. Six healthy subjects volunteered to
complete walking tests on a treadmill. The subjects were allowed to choose their PWS at -6.25%,
0%, and +6.25% grades. Each subject then walked for 10 minutes each at 1.0 and 0.5 mph below
their PWS, at their PWS, and at 0.5 and 1.0 mph above their PWS at each of the three grades.
VO2, VCO2, and RER were measured every 30s from minutes 5.5 to 9.0 at each speed. Subjects‟
resting VO2 measurements were subtracted from their exercise VO2 measurements and their net
CHO usage was determined from their RER values. A two-way repeated measures analysis of
variance yielded significant speed and speed by grade effects, indicating that CHO usage
significantly increased at speeds greater than an individual‟s PWS and was even more elevated at
higher grades. Fat usage showed only minimal increases with increased speed, indicating that
most or all of the increased energy expenditure at speeds above PWS came from CHO usage. Our
results agree with those of Willis, et al, in that CHO usage increases at speeds greater than an
individual‟s PWS, and further, that this relationship holds true when walking on grades.
                                                                                                       15
P9) Does Social Status Affect Seed Handling in Pinyon Jays? Harter, L., Benford. R., &
Balda, R.P., Department of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Optimality theory holds that behavior maximizes payoffs and minimizes consequences in all
aspects of life. Optimality has been demonstrated in many species. The pinyon jay probably
shows optimality, particularly in social and foraging behaviors. Pinyon jays are highly social,
living in permanent, hierarchically organized flocks of ≥200 birds. They are dependent on
harvesting pinyon pine seeds for overwinter survival and early reproduction. To determine if the
foraging behavior of pinyon jays is optimized based on social rank, observations were made to
determine the rank of 9 jays. Pinyon seeds were provided, and data describing how each
individual handled seeds in a social and competitive context were collected. Data suggest that
overall, differences among individuals in seed handling behavior are better described by individual
variation than by social position. However, more dominant females obtain more seeds, while
more dominant males obtain fewer seeds. Behaviors are optimized for each gender, in that
females are less competitive and receive the greatest fitness payoff by hoarding food whenever it
becomes available. Alternatively, the rank of dominant males gives them access to food any time,
and they therefore need not expend energy or expose themselves to competitive bouts to hoard
food when it becomes available.




P10) Characterization of the C-terminus of P22 Tailspike Protein Sarsati Gurung and Matthew J.
Gage Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Protein-protein interactions play a very important role in the proper functioning of a cell. A number
of human diseases and some forms of cancer are associated with protein misfolding and aggregation.
The tailspike protein (TSP) from the bacteriophage P22 is a well characterized model system for
folding and assembly of multimeric proteins as it is trimeric, it has a high degree of -sheet structure
and there is a considerable amount of data concerning the folding and aggregation pathways. The C-
terminus of the TSP has been shown to be critical for the association at the TSP trimer. We have cloned
the C-terminus of TSP onto the Maltose Binding Protein ((MBP-537) to study the C-terminus of TSP in
isolation. In our initial characterization of this clone, we discovered that it was oligomeric and that it
was reactive to antibodies to the C-terminus of TSP. This suggests that the C-terminus attached to the
maltose binding protein (MBP) is the same conformation as in the TSP. Since MBP-537 is oligomeric,
we were interested in determining the number of associated subunits. We first tried cross linking using
DSP (Dithiobis [succinimidylpropionate]) but the appropriate conditions for the cross-linking of the
MBP-537 complex could not be determined. We changed our approach to Size Exclusion
Chromatography and determined that either 5 or 6 subunits are associated together in the MBP-537.
Finally, we found that there was no significant difference in the stability of the MBP-537 complex
relative to the MBP. Our results show that the MBP-537 complex may provide a good model to study
the relationship between the C-terminus of TSP and oligomerization.
16

P11) In Vitro Plasmid DNA Cleavage by Chromium(VI) and Chromium (V) Complexes
Michelle R. Romanotto and Diane M. Stearns, Ph.D.;
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
    Chromium (VI) is an established human carcinogen and has been linked to lung cancer. Cr(VI)
requires intracellular reduction for activation, which forms reactive intermediates and products
such as Cr(V), Cr(IV), free radicals, and Cr(III) that may react with DNA. Chromium(V) may be a
major mutagenic intermediate in the pathway of Cr(VI) toxicity; however, its role in Cr(VI)-
induced DNA damage is still uncertain. The purpose of this work is to synthesize model Cr(V)
complexes and measure their ability to cause strand breaks in DNA in comparison to Cr(VI).
Complexes of Cr(V) with ethylhydroxybutyric acid and the tripeptide trialanine have been
synthesized and characterized. pBluescript plasmid DNA was incubated with these complexes or
with reactions of potassium dichromate (Cr(VI)) and ascorbate (vitamin C). The presence of DNA
strand breaks was observed with agarose gel electrophoresis. Initial results have shown chromium-
DNA binding and DNA strand breakage which suggests that Cr(V) may have a relevant effect on
the genotoxicity of Cr(VI).




P12) Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Coxiella burnetti
Shalamar Georgia, Christina Clark, Jana U‟Ren, Heidie Hornstra, Talima Pearson, James Schupp,
James Samuel, Richard Okinaka, Herbert Thompson, and Paul Keim Center for Microbial
Genetics and Genomics, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Northern Arizona
University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    Coxiella burnetii, an intracellular bacterium, is the causative agent of Q fever. Because one to
ten organisms can cause the disease, contraction of Q Fever is relatively easy. Q fever causes flu
like symptoms and headache; over fifty percent of infected people develop pneumonia or hepatitis.
Because of C. burnetii’s low infection dose, and its ability to incapacitate the infected individual,
it is an ideal biological weapon. Several methods have been used to genotype isolates of C.
burnetii, such as PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RLFP) and MST
(Multispacer Sequence Typing). These methods illustrated the broad genetic relationships among
isolates of C. burnetii, but were unable to detect differences among more closely related isolates
due to low levels of diversity at these markers. However, MST has identified SNPs (Single
Nucleotide Polymorphisms) and Insertions and Deletions (Indels) that are useful for identifying
specific genetic clades within C. burnetii. In this study, we examined these “canonical” SNPs and
Indels to define the phylogenetic roots of C. burnetii across an array of isolates. Thirty isolates
were screened across 27 identified SNPs and one Indel in intergenic regions of the genome, and
then compared to 173 isolates previously screened. The data from this study combined with the
MST results, has allowed for a more complete understanding of the diversity of our samples in
comparison to previously published strains of C. burnetii.
                                                                                                            17
P13) Human Leukocyte Killing of Mutant
Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms Kara Levinson, Ashley Teeling, Allie Smith, Gabriel Moreno,
George O‟Toole, Jeff Leid, Dept. of Microbiology, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
   Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important human pathogen that causes chronic infections, including those
found in the lungs of Cystic Fibrosis patients. These infections are chronic, in part, because of Pseudomonas
aeruginosa's ability to form biofilms which are less susceptible to antibiotics and to killing from the host's
immune system. In recent years, many mutations have been engineered in various P. aeruginosa strains that
diminish quorum sensing, attachment, biofilm formation and biofilm maturation. Additionally, some mutants
have shown increased sensitivity to antibiotics. We wanted to explore the role of genetics in P. aeruginosa
biofilms and determine which genes are responsible for increased defense against the host immune response.
To perform these tests, a modified version of the Kolter/O'Toole 96-well plate assay was utilized where 18-
20 hour P. aeruginosa biofilms were incubated with and without freshly isolated peripheral blood leukocytes
for 4 hours at 37C. Control treatments included incubation with LB, Hanks Balanced Salt Solution and LB
containing 10% bleach for 4 hrs under identical conditions. The biofilms were then sonicated and viable
bacteria plated out by serial dilution. Under these conditions, greater than 1 log reductions in viable bacteria
were seen with P. aeruginosa strains sad-36, sadRS and ndvB. These strains had mutations in PA3946-47 (a
two-component system designated sadRS) and increased antibiotic sensitivity (ndvB, PA1163).
Paraformaldehyde-treated leukocytes incubated with these biofilms did not reduce the susceptibility of these
biofilms. The sadRS strains were also tested for soluble killing mechanisms, by the isolation of monocytes
and neutrophils of human peripheral blood. A double histopaque method was used, that included 1.077 and
1.119. Controlled treatments included incubation with LB and a 1:1 solution of HBSS with Hepes Buffer
Solution and pooled human serum. Interestingly, mutations in the previously defined quorum sensing genes
of P. aeruginosa did not make the biofilm more susceptible to leukocyte attack and killing under conditions
where no exogenous activators were present. These data represent the first time biofilm mutations have been
correlated with increased susceptibility to human leukocytes and suggest that these may be potential targets
that can aide the immune system's attack against chronic biofilm infections.

P14) Responses of Mycorrhizal Fungal Hyphae to Arsenic and Phosphorous
Rebekka M. Rieder, Monica Markley, Richard Foust, and Nancy C. Johnson
Center for Environmental Sciences and Education, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Arsenic is an extremely toxic metalloid that poses a significant environmental health hazard due to
carcinogenic effects in organisms. Arsenic treated wood products mine tailings and pesticides all
generate arsenic contaminated soil. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form symbiotic associations
with plants, influencing the uptake of phosphorous and other elements from the soil. There is some
evidence that AMF also influence arsenic uptake. Interactions between arsenic and phosphorous uptake
are expected because these two elements are chemical analogues. We are examining the effects of AMF
on the uptake of arsenic and phosphorus by sunflowers in two different greenhouse experiments. In the
first greenhouse experiment sunflowers were grown with (100 µg/l) or without arsenic and with four
different mycorrhizal treatments (Glomus intraradices, Gigaspora gigantea, natural AMF community,
and non-mycorrhizal control). For the second greenhouse experiment sunflowers were grown with or
without arsenic (100 µg/l and 1000 µg/l) and with high and low phosphorus and with or without AMF
(Glomus intraradices and non-mycorrhizal control). I measured the formation of mycorrhizal fungal
hyphae in the soil to look for treatment effects. If the results show a positive correlation between
hyphael lengths and tissue arsenic content, we can conclude that AMF facilitate arsenic uptake. These
experiments will allow us to determine if same AMF species better facilitate arsenic uptake and if
mycorrhizae can be used in arsenic bioremediation.
18

P15) Genetic structure and gene flow within the canyon: An analysis of Grand Canyon
populations of Populus fremontii. Katie Mayer, Barb Honchak, Gery Allan Department of
Biological Sciences NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
    The Grand Canyon represents one of the world‟s unique geological landscapes, with numerous
side canyons and tributaries that have been carved out over millions of years. The plants and
animals inhabiting the canyon have been similarly shaped by a wide variety of geological and
evolutionary processes. In this study we examine how the unique landscape of the canyon
influences the colonization and gene flow patterns of a dominant riparian tree species, Populus
fremontii (Fremont cottonwood). In particular, we ask: (1) How genetically distinct are Grand
Canyon populations of Fremont cottonwood relative to above rim populations in southern Utah
and Arizona? (2) Are north rim populations genetically differentiated from south rim populations?
(3) What does the genetic structure of canyon populations tell us about the predominant patterns of
gene flow within the canyon? By analyzing genetic structure of P. fremontii within the canyon we
will gain insight into the evolutionary genetic processes that accompany colonization and gene
exchange in topographically complex landscapes.




P16) Isolation and characterization of a salt tolerant zygospore mutant of Chlamydomonas
monoica Jessica Henleya and Karen VanWinkle-Swiftb, aCenter for Environmental Sciences and
Education, bDepartment of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    The sexual life cycle of the unicellular alga Chlaymdomonas monoica culminates in the
formation of a heavily-walled dormant zygospore. Zygospores are resistant to environmental
extremes such as UV exposure, abrasion, and salinity. To understand the genetic and cellular
basis for the increased salt tolerance seen in zygospores, we have isolated a mutant (sal-1) of C.
monoica whose zygospores are more tolerant to transient salt shock than wildtype zygospores.
Less than 4% of wildtype zygospores are viable after a 1 hour salt treatment in 30% NaCl while
nearly 46% of sal-1 zygospores are viable after the same treatment. In contrast, vegetative cells of
both wildtype and sal-1 are killed by a 1 hour treatment in 2.5% NaCl. Quantitative tests on the
salt tolerance of the vegetative cells are in progress, but preliminary results indicate the sal-1
mutation is zygospore-specific. Transmission electron microscopy did not reveal any substantial
difference in cell wall structure between wildtype and sal-1 zygospores. Genetic analysis is in
progress to determine if the sal-1 phenotype is caused by a single nuclear gene mutation. Future
tests will also be conducted to determine if the mutant zygospores are resistant to UV radiation
and/or oxidative stress. Understanding the mechanism of salt tolerance of the sal-1 zygospore
may assist in the future design of salt tolerant agricultural crops.
This work is supported by NIH grant R15-GM71374-01.
                                                                                                  19

P17) Uranium characterization in Blackfalls, Arizona: How data is presented and utilized to
gain feedback from the community Temashio Anderson and Jani C. Ingram, Department of
Chemistry & Biochemistry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
   Water is a sacred element for human health, livestock, and the environment for present and
future generations on the Navajo Nation. With increasing populations, cancer related health
problems and drought conditions worsening, it is pertinent to study water quality issues. The
purpose of this project is to examine uranium and trace metal speciation in well water as well as
study the geologic units that may influence these waters. Insuring community awareness of the
data collected and utilizing feedback is a very important aspect of this project. The study area is
Blackfalls, AZ on the Western region of the Navajo Nation. Water quality data was collected at
four sites. Seasonal data was collected, but minimal differences in water chemistry results were
observed. The data collected at these sites was presented to the Navajo community through
Chapter meetings and feedback was obtained. The surficial and geologic studies are currently in
progress to determine the lithology of the area.




P18) Genomic Instability in Yeast and Cancer. Marlene Begay1, Ted Weinert2 and Alison
          Adams1.
 1
   Northern Arizona University and 2 Arizona Cancer Center, UA
    We are using yeast in this study as a model organism to study genomic instability and cancer.
Our long-term goal is to understand how environmental exposure and genetic factors affect
genomic instability. During cancer development, translocations result when a segment of DNA
breaks off and attaches to a different chromosome. Often, the resulting chromosome is unstable,
leading to further breakage and attachment at a new location. Genomic instability may result in
altered gene products or changes in gene expression, which may affect cell growth and
consequently lead to cancer. To further understand this process, which occurs at high frequency in
cancer cells, we are using yeast to learn about genes required to stabilize the genome. RAD9 is a
yeast checkpoint gene. Mutations in RAD9 lead to increased levels of genomic instability. In
order to study the role of the RAD9 protein in genomic instability, we are using recombinant DNA
technology to make a yeast strain carrying a mutation in RAD9. This strain will then be used in
genetic crosses to analyze the role of this, and other genes, in genomic instability.
20
P19) Testing the Deletion of Part of the Right Arm of Yeast Chromosome VII and Its Impact on
Chromosomal Instability in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. Danita R. Davis1, Ted Weinert2, Alison
Adams1. 1Department of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011. 2Arizona Cancer Center,
University of Arizona.
    The impact of cancer on American Indians and Alaskan natives of all ages was shown to be the
third leading causing of death for these individuals and the second leading cause of death for those
individuals over 45 years of age. However, understanding the genetic mechanisms and pathways
that result in an increase in cancer is still very poorly understood. Cancer is caused by mutations,
some of which lead to genomic instability. The purpose of the study is to analyze genomic
instability in brewer‟s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. One particular pathway of instability is
believed to occur via an intra-chromosomal recombination event, involving the left and right arms
of chromosome VII. Within this area of the chromosome lie tRNA genes that cause replication
forks to stall. This replication fork instability is initiated at the stalled yeast origin of replication
sites which are generally spaced 40 K bases apart. The purpose of this study is to delete a section
of the right arm of chromosome VII and test the effect of changing the spacing between the origins
of replication.
    Funding agencies that contributed to this work include: Native American Cancer Research
Partnership, Institute to Maximize Student Diversity, and the Intramural Grants Program.




P20) MARTIAN CENTRAL PIT CRATERS. E. Hillman and N. G. Barlow, Dept. Physics and
Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-6010, eah42@dana.ucc.nau.edu,
Nadine.Barlow@nau.edu.
    Impact craters containing central pits are rare on dry bodies like the Moon but common on
Mars and the icy moons of the outer solar system. Impact into and vaporization of subsurface
volatiles is the probable cause of central pit formation. Our study utilizes Mars Odyssey Thermal
Emission Imaging Spectrometer (THEMIS) visible (VIS) and daytime infrared (IR) imagery to
obtain a more complete survey of the distribution and characteristics of these unusual landforms.
To date, we have identified approximately 1500 central pit craters on Mars, many of which where
not detected in earlier analyses. Central pits are classified as a floor pit if the pit occurs on the
crater floor or as a summit pit if the pit occurs atop a central rise. Floor pits are approximately
twice as common as summit pits (67% vs 33%). Both types of pits are seen in craters of similar
size (5 to 55 km) and preservational range as well as over the same latitudinal zone (50N to 70S).
Floor pits tend to be slightly larger relative to their parent crater than summit pits (median Dp/Dc =
0.15 for floor pits vs 0.11 for summit pits). Some pits are rimless while others display a slightly
raised rim. The goal of this study is to obtain an improved understanding of the environmental
conditions under which central pits form inside martian impact craters and what this implies about
the distribution of subsurface water/ice on the planet.
                                                                                                  21

P21) Characterization of Host-Bacteriophage Dynamics in Alvord Desert Hot Springs, Oregon
M.H. Howard1, M.A. Ochoa2, J.L. Keams2, D.W. Helzer2, M.E. Watwood2 1-NorthWind Inc.,
Idaho Falls, ID 2-Department of Biological Sciences, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
   Viruses are now recognized as ubiquitous in aquatic environments, yet their importance in
extreme ecosystems, specifically hot springs, is not well understood. In this study, we isolated
bacteria from sediment/microbial mat as well as from overlying water samples from multiple hot
springs within the Alvord Desert Basin (OR), using standard microbiological techniques.
Cultivated bacteria were used as hosts for the isolation of infectious viral particles, concentrated
earlier in the field. Bacterial isolations and plaque assays were carried out at temperatures (60-72
°C) close to in situ temperatures (60-85 °C) and have resulted in successful infections of host cells.
Currently, we have isolated four indigenous bacterial host species (including Anoxybacillus and
Bacillus) and several bacteriophages infecting these hosts. Further characterization of host-
bacteriophage dynamics (standard host-bacteriophage infection growth curve as well as genetic
analysis) will provide important information about their interactions in natural populations. These
results will be used to determine the influence of viruses on bacterial diversity and abundance in
these extreme ecosystems.




P22) Chemical Compound Inhibitors of Complement System Found in Waste Water Pedro Peña
and Dr. Paul TorrenceChemistry Dept. NAU, Flagstaff, Az 86011
   The chemical compounds in the water from the Rio de Flag have caused great concern for
wildlife and human safety due to the water‟s use in artificial snowmaking on the San Francisco
Peaks; this study focused on the effects of the compounds on Complement (C′) activity. The
Complement system, or the Classical Pathway, plays a vital role in protecting the body against
foreign bacterial entities which may infect and cause disease. The Complement system attacks
foreign bacterial cells by lysing the cell wall, weakening the integrity of the invading bacteria.
Some of the chemicals found in the waste water, such as phenol, have been known to inhibit the
immune system and have shown an increase in the incidence of cancer when in the presence of
known carcinogens. Dilutions of each compound were made to determine if a noticeable effect
could be observed at various concentrations relative to and at the Rio de Flag level: Highest (not
found in nature), 1/100, 1/1000, and Rio de Flag concentrations. A hemolytic assay was utilized
with Sheep Erythrocytes (SRBC), washed in Gelatin Veronal Buffer (GVB) and sensitized with
Rabbit Hemolysin; this combination was mixed with Guinea Pig Complement Serum in the
presence of various chemical compounds and observed through UV-vis assay. Preliminary results
have shown that some chemical compounds may possess inhibitory qualities, while others may act
as accelerants of C′; however, further testing is required. Further investigations will focus on the
melting dynamics of a snowpack and how the individual compounds characteristics dictate
absorption and concentration. This project was funded by the MSD grant.
22
                                MSD Graduate Students
                                AM SESSION 8:30 – 11:30
NOTE: Odd numberd posters will be attended 8:30-10:00, even numbers from 10:00-11:30

P23) Morphology of the Feeding Apparatus in Aquatic Frogs C. A. Carreño & K. C. Nishikawa,
Department of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
   Unlike most frogs, pipid frogs almost never leave the water and even capture prey in their
aquatic environment. Perhaps the strangest feature of pipid frogs is the complete loss of the
tongue. For these frogs, the typical anuran mode of lingual prey capture is not possible. In water,
suction feeding is a highly efficient mode of prey capture and the vast majority of fish suction
feed. Suction is generated by a rapid increase in the volume of the mouth, creating a brief drop in
pressure. Water rushes toward the area of low pressure, carrying the prey item along with it.
Several anatomical features are shared among suction feeding vertebrates: a large expandable
mouth cavity, a highly ossified hyoid, and specialized feeding musculature. Previous research has
shown that pipid frogs do use suction during prey capture. Using gross dissection, differential
clearing and staining, and anatomical molds, we investigated the morphological specializations in
pipid frogs that are associated with this unusual mode of feeding. The mouth cavity of pipid frogs
extends posteriorly past the pectoral girdle and was found to expand up to ~30% of body volume,
many times greater than other frogs. The hyoid of pipids is greatly expanded and also shifted
posteriorly; this area may provide additional attachment sites for muscles used during buccal
expansion. The feeding muscles in pipids are highly modified and may include muscles that were
previously unknown. The highly modified feeding morphology of pipid frogs corresponds with the
unusual suction feeding behavior. This research was supported by the NIH MSD Program grant.

P24) Identification of Genes that, When Over-Expressed, Increase Genomic Instability in Yeast
Patricia Chan, Ted Weinert 2, Alison Adams1
1
  Department of Biological Science, Northern Arizona University 2Department of Molecular and
Cellular Biology, University of Arizona
    Cancer results from uncontrollable cell division, which occurs as a result of an accumulation of
mutations. One of the mechanisms leading to such mutations is „genomic instability‟, which
occurs when specific regions of the chromosome break. The resulting chromosome fragments
then recombine with novel regions of the genome to form translocations. These translocations
lead to altered gene products and/or gene expression. We are using yeast as a model organism to
study this process. To detect genomic instability in yeast, we are using a „colony sectoring‟ assay,
which allows us to detect particular breakage and recombination events. We are using this assay
to identify genes that normally have a role in stabilizing the genome of yeast. To this end, we are
looking for genes that, when over-expressed, increase the rate of genomic instability. Thus, we
are screening a library of high-copy-number plasmids, containing ~10kB inserts of yeast genomic
DNA, to look for those that cause an increase in colony sectoring (indicative of an increase in
genomic instability). In a pilot study, we have screened 240 plasmids, and have identified one that
increases colony sectoring. We are currently screening an additional ~2,500 plasmids, so ensure
that ~98% of all yeast genes are tested for an effect on genomic instability when over-expressed.
                                                                                                 23


P25) Variation in habitat and reproductive ecology of Acanthina angelica in the northern Gulf
of California Raena Cota
    Acanthina angelica, a carnivorous marine snail, is a neogastropod with separate sexes and
internal fertilization. After copulation, the females of this species lay egg masses and attach them
to the local substrate. Development occurs completely within the egg capsule and juveniles
emerge fully formed. A. angelica feeds on other mollusks and barnacles, using an aperture tooth to
pry open shells and barnacle tests. The current described distribution is throughout the Gulf of
California, or Sea of Cortez, with large aggregations found near Puerto Peñasco.
          The largest populations near Puerto Peñasco are located at Playa Miramar, Punta
Pelícana, and Estero Morua, all within a 20 km radius of the city center. Each site varies in
substrate, tidal influx and species composition. The populations differ in time of reproduction,
mode of deposition of egg masses, aggregation of individuals (crowding), and morphology of shell
characteristics. Habitat differences and restricted gene flow between sites may have led to genetic
divergence between populations.
          This study was funded by the Minority Student Development Program at NAU.



P26) Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping of key ecosystem and community traits in naturally
occurring cottonwood hybrid zones. Zinkgraf, Matthew S.; Woolbright, Scott; Allan, Gery;
Whitham, Thomas Northern Arizona University, Biological Sciences, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
    The role that genes play in determining ecosystem and community level trait variation is poorly
studied in most ecological systems. One system that provides unparalleled opportunities for
defining the interactions between genes and ecology is the cottonwood system, which consists of
extensive hybrid zones formed between two or more cottonwood species. In this system, we have
identified strong correlations between host plant genetics and key ecosystem functions such as
nitrogen mineralization and biomass production, and community-level traits including arthropod
community composition and plant chemical defense. To better understand the genetic variation
that underlies these correlations, we explore the utility of quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping
in natural hybrid zones between broad (P. fremontii) and narrowleaf (P. angustifolia) cottonwood
species. Although QTL mapping is a widely accepted method for exploring quantitative trait
variation in plant and animal populations, these methods have been restricted to experimental
populations of known pedigree. Our study proposes to develop QTL mapping techniques for
insitu exploration of quantitative trait variation in cottonwood hybrid zones. Here, we use
amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) to construct a linkage map for 282
cottonwood clones (P. Fremonti - 21, P. Angustifolia - 21, P. Fremonti x P. Angustifolia - 3 and
[(P. Fremonti x P. Angustifolia) x P. Angustifolia] - 237) from the Weber River in Ogden, UT.
Data generated from this mapping population is being used to identify QTL associated with foliar
chemistry (condensed tannins, salicortin and phenolic glycosides), leaf flush, and arthropod
community composition. Once QTL for these traits are verified we will explore how genes
controlling these traits ultimately affect the function of a dominant riparian species and its
associated community in a natural environment.
24
  PM SESSION 1:30 – 4:00
NOTE: Odd numberd posters will be attended 1:30-3:00, even numbers from 3:00-4:30


P1) Probing for Induced Structure in Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Trenton L. Baker1 ,
Matthew J. Gage2 1Department of Biology and 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are thought to lack distinct secondary and tertiary
structure and yet they still manage to perform essential functions inside the cell. If this is true,
then they represent a unique set of proteins that defy the long held structure-function paradigm.
Many of these proteins have been shown to have sections of secondary structure when bound to
their substrate (this structure is thought to be induced by the substrate). To date, no one has been
able to demonstrate that these proteins are disordered inside the cell. Lumio is a fluorescent
molecule that binds to a four cysteine motif. By inserting this Lumio binding motif into the
IDPs p27 (complexed with CDK2 and CyclinA) and p53 (with MDM2) in regions of substrate
associated structure, we hope to discover whether this structure is preformed or induced in vivo. If
the current prevailing hypothesis is correct, when the protein is in its disordered state (absence of
substrate), the cysteines will not be in close enough proximity to each other and the Lumio
probe will not bind and fluoresce. In the presence of the protein‟s expressed substrate the
cysteines should be in close enough proximity to bind the Lumio probe and stimulate
fluorescence. We intend to first demonstrate this in vitro and then to make similar measurements
in the cell.
Acknowledgements: funding resources from the Native American Cancer Research Partnership




P2) Feasibility of Biodiesel Fuel Use on Northern Arizona University’s Campus Adam
Hamburg Center for Environmental Sciences and Education, Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
   This studies objective was to determine the economic and infrastructure feasibility of using a B20
blend of biodiesel fuel in the campus diesel engine fleet. The use of biodiesel fuel has been found to
significantly reduce air and ground pollution. Biodiesel supports America‟s farming industry and
increases national security by providing a domestic energy alternative. The method in determining
feasibility was to compare Northern Arizona University‟s (NAU) costs for diesel use and against city of
Flagstaff‟s costs for biodiesel. This study found that biodiesel cost an average of 1.2 cents per gallon
more than diesel. The results suggested that the costs were not prohibitive to biodiesel use. It was also
discovered that no serious modifications to fleet engines would be required. It was concluded that
NAU convert its existing diesel tank and convert its entire diesel engine fleet. These recommendations
would enhance the university‟s green image and help fulfill the ambitions of the Northern Arizona
University Campus Environmental Sustainability Plan (Section 4 article B).
                                                                                                 25


P3) Feasibility of Using a Biomass Generator to Meet the Gas and Electric Needs of Northern
Arizona University Conducted by: Adam Hamburg
Center for Environmental Sciences and Education, Northern Arizona University
   The objective of the study was to determine whether a biomass generator could meet the energy
needs of the NAU. Biomass generators can significantly reduce air pollution, reduce America‟s
dependence on foreign energy and help to thin Flagstaff‟s overcrowded forests. The study viewed
different kinds of reactors and weighed their costs and benefits.




P4) Combination of Cell Lysis and Transesterification of Cell Lipids for Biodiesel Production
using the Diatom Cyclotella cryptica Steven Blazewicz and Egbert Schwartz, Ph.D.Departments
of Biological Sciences and Chemistry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
   Biodiesel is a low polluting fuel, conventionally produced from plant lipids, which is usable in
most common diesel engines and oil heating systems. Some single celled strains of algae such as
Cyclotella cryptica can generate more than 50% of their dry cell mass as lipids, and these oils can
be extracted and converted to biodiesel. A protocol was developed to combine cell lysis and
transesterification of triglycerides using C. cryptica. The algae were cultured in defined media,
harvested, and dried. An ethanol solution containing concentrated NaOH was added to the algae
and heated to induce cell lysis and transesterification of released lipids. The ethanol was
evaporated and chloroform: isoamyl alcohol was used to extract hydrophobic molecules. The
chloroform solution was washed, isolated, and evaporated. The remaining product was
centrifuged and the supernatant was collected and analyzed via Nile Red fluorescence assay and
NMR spectroscopy. Results indicate that lipid extraction and transesterification were successful.
26
P5) C-Terminus and DNA Binding Domain Interactions of Protein p53
Casey Goodyear, Department of Chemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    The protein p53 plays a critical role in the regulation of cancerous cells in the body. In over fifty
percent of tumor tissues, this protein has mutated so that it is no longer capable of binding to the DNA
and regulating cellular pathways. Currently, the structural difference between the active and inactive
forms of the normal protein is still debated; it is not yet fully understood whether the tail region of the
protein binds to the core domain (a.k.a. DNA binding domain) in order to deactivate it or whether other
structural modifications are responsible for the change. I will report on the progress of my research,
which aims to use Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) to analyze a specifically mutated and
labeled form of the protein and better characterize the interaction between the tail region and core
domain of p53. Currently, I am developing a gene for a specially modified type of the protein suitable
for purification, labeling, and eventually FRET analysis. This project could u ltimately lead to a more
solid understanding of the structural difference between inactive and active p53. This knowledge could
then be used to research potential drugs to treat tumors caused by p53 mutation.




P6) COMET ASSAY ANALYSIS OF DNA DAMAGE INDUCED BY CHROMIUM
PICOLINATE Alejandro Lencinas, Craig S. Asplund, Virginia H. Coryell, Ph.D., and Diane M.
Stearns, Ph.D.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona
    Chromium picolinate (CrPic) is a popular dietary supplement that is not regulated by the FDA.
CrPic was previously shown to be clastogenic and mutagenic in cultured cells. The purpose of the
current work was to identify the types of DNA lesions found in cells after exposure to CrPic to see
if resulting DNA lesions were consistent with (i) the observed mutation spectrum, and (ii) with the
proposal that CrPic undergoes redox chemistry to generate free radicals. The alkaline comet assay
showed an increase in tail moment with increasing dose of CrPic, suggesting the presence of DNA
strand breaks. Post-treatment exposure to methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) increased tail moment
5- to 2-fold in CrPic-treated cells vs. 7-fold in untreated cells, suggesting the presence of DNA
crosslinks. Post-treatment exposure to formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (FPG) had no
affect on untreated cells, but increased the tail moment from 4- to 2-fold with increasing dose of
CrPic, suggesting the presence of oxidative damage. These data supported our working hypotheses
that CrPic can cause direct DNA damage in cultured cells, and that mutations can arise from these
lesions. Results suggest that further study is needed to verify the safety of CrPic for human
consumption. Supported by NIH #CA75298, the Arizona Board of Regents Prop301 Program,
and the NAU MSD Program (NIH #GM56931).
                                                                                                    27
P7) Characterization of Organic Contaminant Extraction from Aqueous Samples Jessica S.
Creamer and Jani C. Ingram, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Northern Arizona
University, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011
    The environmental impact of the use of reclaimed water to make snow on the San Francisco
Peaks currently lacks scientific information to thoroughly understand how the reclaim snow will
affect the native plants and animals of this area. The overall goal of this study is to collect
baseline organic chemical data on the water present in the environment of the Peaks prior to
reclaim snow making. Additionally, organic characterization of the effluent from the waste
treatment plant providing the reclaimed water will be performed. Both sets of data are critical to
gaining insight into how the reclaim snow making affects the chemical composition of the
ecosystem. Some preliminary work was accomplished during summer 2005; this work provided a
means to begin networking with a number of interested parties in the Flagstaff and Coconino
County areas as well as initiating development of sampling and characterization protocols for
water chemistry studies. The focus of this presentation is to discuss the efficiency of extraction
techniques to maximize the collection of target organic compounds from natural and reclaimed
water.



P8) Ammonia- oxidizing bacteria (amoA) community in different precipitation levels. Allison
Mapes, Egbert Schwartz, Karen Adair. Department of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ,
86011.
   Soil samples were taken from four different locations in Arizona, a mixed conifer forest, an
arid grass land, ponderosa pine forest, and pinion juniper forest. Precipitation levels were
manipulated at these four sites and this study analyzed if the different precipitation levels altered
the community of ammonia- oxidizing bacteria (amoA). A PCR reaction was conducted on 12
samples and the gene amoA was amplified. A TOPO cloning reaction was done with PCR
product. E. coli with the vector was grown and colonies were selected for sequence analysis.



P9) ATMOSPHERIC FATE AND TRANSPORT OF AIR PARCELS ORIGINATING IN THE
COCONINO NATIONAL FOREST DURING THE PRESCRIBED FIRE SEASON Matthew
Quarterman, Christine Brindley, Lindsay Zack, and Marin Robinson Department of Chemistry and
Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Prescribed fire is the method of choice for reducing heavy fuel loads and thereby decreasing the
risk of catastrophic fire in the Coconino National Forest (CNF), the largest free-standing
contiguous Ponderosa pine forest in North America. However, the smoke generated during a
prescribed fire can impact human health, degrade air quality, and reduce visibility. The impacts
on visibility are of particular concern because of the close proximity of the CNF to the Grand
Canyon, a Class I airshed as designated by the Environmental Protection Agency. In this work,
we use the NOAA HYbrid Single Lagrangian Trajectory (HYSPLIT) interface to calculate back
trajectories of air parcels during the Fall (October) and Spring (April) prescribed fire season of the
CNF in 2005. The trajectories will be used to determine if prescribed fires of the CNF impacted
air quality in the Grand Canyon.
28

P10) Genomic Instability in Yeast and Cancer: Does over-expression of the RRM3 gene of
yeast cause an increase in genomic instability? Jason Tidwell1, Ted Weinert2 and Alison Adams1.
1
  Northern Arizona University and 2 Arizona Cancer Center, UA
    The long-term goal of this study is to understand how genetic factors influence the risk of
genomic instability in normal and cancer cells. Normal cells can become cancerous after
chromosome breakages occur and lead to rearrangements (e.g., translocations). Such
rearrangements may be unstable, and lead to further rearrangements. Such changes often result in
mutations and/or alterations in gene expression that in turn, can affect growth control and
consequently lead to cancer. We are using yeast as a model organism to study genomic instability.
We are looking for genes that, when over-expressed, increase genomic instability. We are starting
with genes that, on the basis of their functions and mutant phenotypes, may normally have a role
in stabilizing the genome when expressed at normal levels. In this study, we are testing whether
the yeast RRM3, which encodes a DNA helicase, causes increased levels of genomic instability
when over-expressed in yeast.




P11) One needle or two? Drought tolerance and genetic determination of pinyon needle
number. Ky Macktima-Borhauer, Amy Whipple, Center for Environmental Sciences, Northern
Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
   I am studying drought trait characteristics of two types of pinyon pine (Pinus edulis var. fallax
and P. edulis var. edulis), and a possible hybrid between the two. To study these characteristics I
am cultivating seeds gathered from possible hybrid pinyon trees to monitor growth. The possible
hybrid seeds were collected from trees that supported both one and two needle fascicles. Once the
cultivated seeds have produced fascicles and needles, they will be identified to species. The
identified trees will be drought stressed. Responses to drought stress will be compared, between
the cultivated seedlings, which will predictably produce both pinyon tree species and the hybrid.
As I am researching eco-physiology my results will be shared with laboratory group members
studying pinyon tree genetics. The importance of this study, in relation to pinyon-juniper (PJ)
woodlands (third largest vegetation type in the U.S.), is that there exists in the southwestern
United States, a large percentage of pinyon trees. The consequences of my research could,
cooperatively with genetics research, locate specifically the determining factor of how pinyon tree
species will react to drought telling us, which trees to plant. Knowing what trees are tolerant or
susceptible to drought is a major tool in managing and sustaining PJ woodlands.
                                                                                                 29

P12) Hydrophobic soils as a function of fire severity, Mount Trumbull, Arizona Fuller, Claire,
and Middleton, Larry, Department of Geology, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Increased incidences of soil erosion, both small-scale and large-scale, tend to occur following
fire. This increase has been attributed to the development of a hydrophobic (water repellant) soil
layer. This study looked at the development of hydrophobic soil layers as a function of fire
severity at Mount Trumbull, Arizona. Soil layers at two centimeter intervals were tested for
hydrophobicity using the Water Drop Penetration Test at five sites in each of three levels of burn
severity: unburned, moderately burned, and severely burned, for a total of fifteen test sites. Soil
samples were taken from each site and analyzed for percent silt, clay, and sand to determine if
texture influenced hydrophobicity. Classification of hydrophobicity was done using a relative
scale. No hydrophobic layers were found in unburned test sites, six hydrophobic layers were
identified in the moderately burned test sites, and ten hydrophobic layers were present in the
severely burned test sites. Hydrophobic layers in the moderately burned test sites were found to be
more hydrophobic than those in the severely burned test sites, and were located at shallower
depths. Soil texture was not found to be an influential factor, though some of the hydrophobic soil
layers included portions of bonded pine duff that impeded penetration, perhaps due to a „thatched
roof‟ effect. Support for this project was provided by a Hooper Undergraduate Research Award
and the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University.




P13) Genetic diversity of Yersinia pestis isolates from Wyoming Candyce Bair, Rebecca
Colman, Yoshi Nemoto, Amy Vogler, Dave Wagner, and Paul Keim Center for Microbial
Genetics and Genomics, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Northern Arizona
University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    Yersinia pestis is a Gram-negative bacterium that is the causative agent of plague. Plague is
known throughout history as the cause of several large human pandemics and is still regarded as a
highly virulent microorganism and potential bioterrorism threat. Y. pestis is endemic throughout
the western United States, including Wyoming. In the past, genetic typing techniques such as
Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms
(AFLPs) were not found to be useful for examining phylogenetic patterns in Y. pestis, as very little
genetic diversity was found using these techniques. Recently, Multi-Locus Variable-Number
Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) has been used to successfully discriminate among even closely
related isolates. In this study, we used MLVA to analyze 53 isolates from Wyoming; there were
32 different branches with a 64% phylogenetic difference between isolates. This study
demonstrates the discriminatory properties of MLVA by showing diversity in a few Y. pestis
samples from a small geographic location.
30
P14) Isolation of Infective Pairs of Toluene-Degrading Bacteria and Bacteriophage from
Aeration Tank Water at the Rio de Flag Water Reclamation Facility K. Eilers, C. LaViolette, M.
Ochoa, M. Scales, M Watwood Department of Biology, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Toluene is a toxic contaminant frequently detected in groundwater. Several bacteria can biodegrade
toluene by using it as a carbon source; some species can grow on toluene as the sole source of carbon.
Several toluene-degrading bacteria can also degrade trichloroethylene (TCE), another common toxic
contaminant in aquifers. However, the TCE degradation process is cometabolic and does not produce
any energy for the cells. Toluene-degrading bacteria are not limited to contaminated sites, but can also
be isolated from non-contaminated sources as well, such as pristine groundwater.
    Toluene-degrading bacteria can be infected by bacteriophage, which utilize the bacteria for viral
replication and cause cell lysis. As a result, it is speculated that bacteriophage may play an important
role in microbial community structure, impact carbon and nutrient cycling, and influence contaminant
degradation rates.
    For this project, Toluene-degrading bacteria and infective bacteriophage were isolated from aeration
tanks at the Rio de Flag wastewater treatment plant using a tangential flow filter. The object of this
project was to establish infective pairs of bacteria and phage (e.g., specific phage that would
consistently infect and lyse specific bacterial species). This was accomplished through sequential
rounds of infection and reinfection using plaque-overlay techniques, viral extraction protocols, and
epifluorescent microscopy for verification. These pairs will be used in upcoming experiments to track
            13
the fate of C-toluene through bacteria and into specific infective bacteriophage.



P15) Assessment of Bioremediation Potential in Contaminated Groundwater in Tucson, AZ
Danielle Conley, Kellie Shamrell, Scott Clingenpeel, Maribeth Watwood
Biology Department, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Trichloroethylene (TCE), a common groundwater contaminant, is degraded by many bacteria,
including those with toluene oxygenases. To identify these oxygenases, enzyme activity probes
developed by our lab were used to target toluene 2,3-dioxygenase, toluene 2-monooxygenase, and
xylene monooxygenase pathways. These probes yield a quantifiable, fluorescent signal if the specific
enzyme is active.
    The Park-Euclid site has shallow and deep aquifers and is contaminated with chlorinated ethenes,
including TCE, and diesel fuel. Most of the contamination is in the shallow aquifer and is migrating
into the deeper aquifer which provides drinking water to Tucson, AZ.
    Groundwater was collected from inside and outside the contamination zone in both the shallow and
deep aquifers during two consecutive semiannual samplings. Toluene oxygenase activity, based on
enzyme probe response, was detected in all samples analyzed. Highly contaminated samples had the
highest levels of enzymatic activity, with up to 75% of total cells expressing an active oxygenase; and
multiple pathways were usually active. Samples from areas with low or no contamination typically had
5-25% of total cells expressing active toluene oxygenases with fewer active pathways. These results
were consistent over the two samplings. Toluene oxygenase genes were successfully PCR amplified in
most samples, and the amplified sequences corresponded to the pathways expected, based on enzyme
probe response. This study provides clear evidence of toluene oxygenase activity inside and outside the
contamination zones at the Park-Euclid site. These data support consideration of in situ bioremediation
and monitored natural attenuation as remedial options at this site.
                                                                                                31
P16) GC/MS and ATR-FTIR Analyses of Fine Particulate Matter in Smoke from Prescribed
Fire
Christine Brindley, Lindsay Zack, Matthew Quarterman, and Marin Robinson, Department of
Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Prescribed fires are a method of greatly reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires at
wilderness/urban interfaces by intentionally setting low-intensity burns that remove built-up fuels
from forest floors. However, these burns are also the sources of large plumes of smoke that
impact nearby communities. Wood smoke has been shown to contain over 350 organic
compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), many of which are toxic and/or
carcinogenic. The fine particulate matter (PM) in the smoke is easily respirable and small enough
to reach the lungs, posing a risk to human health. In our work, we will collect PM at both real
prescribed fires and “mock” burns using two instruments: a MetOne SuperSASS and a MOUDI.
The SuperSASS will collect PM-2.5 (≤2.5 µm in diameter) on Teflon and quartz fiber filters; the
MOUDI will collect size-specific particles on Teflon filters. The Teflon filters from both
instruments will be analyzed using attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-
FTIR) spectroscopy. The quartz filters will be extracted, concentrated, and analyzed using gas
chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Because of the toxic and carcinogenic properties of
PAHs, those compounds will be looked for specifically in order to determine if ATR-FTIR offers
a time- and cost-efficient way to analyze the composition of wood smoke for compounds that may
be harmful to humans.


P17) Multiple-Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat Analysis Reveals Genetic Diversity
among Human and Soil Isolates of Burkholderia pseudomallei from Northeast Thailand.
Benjamin Leadem, Jana U‟Ren, Heidie Hornstra, Talima Pearson, James Schupp, Christine Clark,
Shalamar Georgia, Rasana Sermswan, and Paul Keim Center for Microbial Genetics and
Genomics, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff,
AZ 86011
    Burkholderia pseudomallei is a gram negative environmental saprophyte that is the causative
agent of melioidosis, a potentially fatal disease that is highly endemic to areas of northern
Australia and southeast Asia. B. pseudomallei is a highly resilient bacterium that is capable of
surviving hostile environmental conditions. In the present study, 41 samples of B. pseudomallei
were isolated from northeast Thailand, of which 11 strains were isolated from soil and 30 from
humans. To describe the genetic diversity of B. pseudomallei in this endemic region, as well as
discover any possible relationships among strains in regards to geographic location or source of
isolation, we used a Multiple-Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA). In
addition, we compared MLVA data to previously obtained ribotype data. Our analysis included
24 VNTR loci, which displayed between 3 and 20 alleles with Nei‟s diversity values ranging from
0.30 to 0.92 across all isolates. Phylogenetic analysis of MLVA data revealed 36 unique
genotypes which demonstrated no observable pattern in regards to geographic location and source
of isolation. However, MLVA does provide genetic resolution capable of differentiating among
strains of the same ribotype. In conclusion, due to such high levels of genetic diversity, MLVA is
unable to ascertain historical relationships between isolates of B. pseudomallei. Despite this,
MLVA is a vital tool in the discrimination among isolates from a single endemic area.
32


P18) DNA Crosslinking in Chinese Hamster Ovary AA8 Cells When Exposed to
Uranyl Acetate as Determined by the Comet Assay. Hertha Woody and Diane M. Stearns, Ph.D.;
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
   Questions about possible adverse health effects from environmental and occupational
exposures to uranium have arisen as a result of uranium mining, residual mine tailings, and the use
of depleted uranium in the military. It is generally accepted that uranium causes damage through a
combination of chemical and radiological effects; however, the specific molecular mechanisms
behind its action have not been determined. Previous work in our lab has shown that uranium
causes cell death, mutations and general DNA adducts in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) AA8
cells. In the current study, we are using single cell gel electrophoresis (the comet assay) to
measure the ability of depleted uranium as uranyl acetate to cause DNA crosslinks in CHO cells.
Work has begun in the parental AA8 line and will be extended to other DNA repair deficient CHO
lines. Data will contribute to our understanding of the possible health risks to people exposed to
uranium. This work is supported by the Native American Cancer Research Partnership (NIH grant
CA096320). Hertha is supported by the NAU MSD Program (NIH grant GM056931). The comet
assay equipment was provided by Arizona Board of Regents Prop301 funds.




P19) The Effects of Uranyl Nitrate on DNA in the Presence of Organic Ligands Aaron M.
Whittaker, Virginia H. Coryell, Ph.D., Diane M. Stearns, Ph.D; Department of Chemistry and
Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    Uranium is mined and used in the production of nuclear power and warfare. Its health effects
are poorly understood. The purpose of the current experiment is to determine the effects of
depleted uranium in the form of uranyl nitrate when in the presence of organic ligands that model
those found in soil. It is hypothesized that the DNA will experience a higher rate of single strand
breaks when uranyl nitrate is combined with sodium ascorbate and an organic ligand. The four
ligands will be sodium citrate, 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid, 2,6-dihydroxybenzoic acid, and
hydroxyisophthalic acid. The hypothesis will be tested with gel electrophoresis. Results so far
have supported the occurrence of single strand breaks being higher when sodium citrate is mixed
with uranyl nitrate, then sodium citrate or uranyl nitrate alone. An even higher ratio of single
strand breaks and some double strand breaks have occurred when sodium ascorbate is mixed in
with the UN and Na Cit. As depleted uranium gets disposed of in soil, where these ligands occur
naturally, it may be possible for the genotoxicity to be increased to levels above safe standards.
Funded by the Native American Cancer Research Partnership (NIH # CA096320).
                                                                                                 33

P20) Cytotoxicity of Combined Exposures of Uranyl Acetate and Sodium Arsenite in CHO Cells
Sheryl L. Martinez,1 R. Clark Lantz,Ph.D.2 and Diane M. Stearns, Ph.D.;1 1Department of
Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, Arizona; 2Department of Cell Biology and
Anatomy, University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona
    High concentrations of uranium and arsenic contaminate water sources in the southwestern US.
This creates a potential for human co-exposures to these toxic metals. Previous work from our
labs has shown that uranium(VI) as uranyl acetate (UA) caused DNA strand breaks, U-DNA
adducts and hprt mutations in cultured cells. Others have shown that arsenic(III) can inhibit DNA
repair, affect signal transduction, and induce oxidative stress. The current hypothesis being tested
is that if UA causes DNA damage and As(III) inhibits DNA repair or induces oxidative stress,
then combinations of U(VI) and As(III) could be more toxic than either metal alone. My project is
testing this hypothesis by exposing cells to combinations of UA and sodium arsenite at different
times and then measuring cytotoxicity through colony forming ability. Results from these studies
could ultimately contribute to the interpretation of epidemiological studies in populations exposed
to uranium.
    This work is supported by the Native American Cancer Research Partnership (NIH grant
CA096320). Sheryl is supported by the NAU MSD Program (NIH grant GM056931).




P21) Analysis of DNA Cross-links Induced by Hexavalent Chromium Julia A. Mackey, Virginia
H. Coryell, Ph.D., Diane M. Stearns, Ph.D; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU,
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    Cr(VI) is a recognized carcinogen but how this metal causes cancer is unknown. It has been
proposed that cross-links are one of the lesions induced by Cr but it is unknown whether these
cross-links result in cell death or if they are actually causing mutations (which would lead to
cancer). In order to investigate this, a protocol to detect DNA-DNA cross-links in Chinese
hamster ovarian (CHO) cells was developed based on fluorescent measurements of double
stranded DNA. The hypothesis being tested is that if Cr causes cross-links in DNA then that DNA
will remain double stranded despite exposure to high heat and we will be able to detect these
cross-links using a fluorescent dye that binds only to double stranded DNA. If Cr does not cause
cross-links then all of the DNA will denature and become single stranded at high temperatures and
we will see no fluorescence from the dye. This protocol can now be applied to CHO cells treated
with Cr(VI) to determine if this metal is inducing cross-links. It will also be applied to CHO cells
that have been treated with Cr(VI) and allowed to recover to see if the cells can survive with the
cross-links or if the lesions must be repaired.
    Julia is supported by an NAU Hooper Undergraduate Research Award.
34

P22) Examination of water relations in pinyon pine with ancient DNA Bethany Riggins, Amy
Whipple,
Kristen Haskins Biology Department, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
      Due to a recent drought in Arizona, thriving pinyon forests have turned into sparse forests.
The purpose of this study is to discover why many pinyon trees lived, while many others died.
This study specifically focuses on the aspect of genetic adaptations to drought by examining
drought tolerance genes through time. Comparing ancient and recent DNA will allow us to look
for patterns between genetic variation and climate. It is expected that genes specific to drought
tolerance have changed as surrounding climate has changed. Packrat middens were the source of
needle tissue from trees which have been dead for over hundreds of years. Twenty-two drought
specific genes will be sequenced in plant DNA to study how and if pinyon drought genes have
significantly changed over time. The genes have been selected but not yet sequenced in the
extracted plant DNA. We expect to see variation between genes, but the cause of that variation is
unknown at this time. In addition to genetic change detection, a second goal is to test if the
genetic change is the result of neutral variation, or natural selection. Funding provided by
SABRE.




P23) The genetic landscape of Bacillus anthracis samples from textile mills in Dillon County,
SC
Alyssa Smith, Molly Mathews, Xenia Kachur, Amy Welty-Bernard, Leo Kenefic, David Wagner,
and Paul Keim Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics, College of Engineering and Natural
Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
   Studying genetic relationships within Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has
aided epidemiological studies by allowing better understanding of the diversity and global
distribution of this important pathogen. We developed genetic profiles for 24 B. anthracis isolates
collected by the CDC during the 1950s and 1960s from textile mills in Dillon, SC. To examine the
genetic diversity of these isolates, we utilized single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to identify
the major genetic groups and Multiple Locus VNTR analysis (MLVA) to examine more recent
evolutionary relationships. We found that all of these isolates are members of the A4 group of B.
anthracis, which occurs naturally in Central Asia but is also widely distributed in the United
Kingdom. The dispersal of these isolates to the United States was most likely due to the global
importation of B. anthracis spores via contaminated cotton and animal products from the United
Kingdom or its former colonies.
                                                                                                 35

P24) Panoche-Tumey Hills Paleoseep Geochemistry of Carbonate Minerals with Analysis from
a Scanning Electron Microscope Jason Trautschold, James Sample, Geology Department, NAU,
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    We characterized the geochemistry of carbonate cements in samples from the Panoche-Tumey
Hills (PTH) paleoseep with a scanning electron microscope. We acquired data using back-
scattered electron imaging on polished, carbon coated thin-sections to view the samples and
energy-dispersive imaging to gather element data. The study was done to understand paleoseep
fluid migration and evolution. This is important because paleoseeps are stressed environments,
containing unique ecosystems beneath the photic zone and may be analogous to life on other
planets and/or primordial life. The PTH paleoseep is one of the largest paleoseep deposits yet
discovered and can yield significant information about the spatial and temporal evolution of cold
seeps. The evolution of paleoseeps can lend insight to the conditions of modern cold seeps.
    Calcite (CaCO3), dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2) and aragonite (CaCO3) can appear in paleoseep
deposits, with potential zonation of iron, manganese, and magnesium. To date, we have found
mostly calcite and some dolomite with iron zonation as well as barite (BaSO4) crystals. The
presence of barite crystals and iron zonation suggests fluctuating redox conditions.




P25) Additions to the Vertebrate Fauna of the Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) Naco Formation,
Central Arizona Dylan P. Rust, David K. Elliott Department of Geology, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.
   Teeth, spines, and dermal denticles of chondrichthyans have been reported previously from the
Middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) Naco Formation of central Arizona (Elliott et al., 2004).
The most common elements are crushing teeth of the cochliodont Deltodus angularis, less
common are teeth of D. sublaevis, Venustodus leidyi, Lagarodus angustus, Glikmanius
occidentalis, Petalodus ohioensis, Orodus sp., and Hybodontoidea. Fin spines of
Acondylacanthus sp., Amelacanthus sp., and Physonemus sp., and the dermal denticle Petrodus
patelliformis are also present. This material has been used to show that Venustodus leidyi was
heterodont, with arched anterior teeth with a v-shaped profile grading posteriorly into lower
crescentic, and finally flattened teeth. In addition Lagarodus angustus is shown to have a dentition
in which small anterior teeth are replaced posteriorly by large crushing teeth arranged in whorls.
   New taxa discovered recently by picking weathered sediment samples include the teeth of
Helododus sp., Calopodus apicalis, Agissizodus sp., Kirkella typicalis, Cooperella striatula,
Xenacanthus tridentatus, two Orodus spp., three Janassa spp., a new cladodont, and an unknown
petalodont, along with a spine of Ctenacanthus sp., orodont scales, and osteichthyan teeth and
vertebrae.
   This fauna is similar to others in New Mexico, Colorado, and Ohio and constitutes a western
extension of such faunas in North America. In addition the presence of Deltodus sublaevis and
Lagarodus angustus documents a range extension from a known European distribution,
reinforcing the cosmopolitan nature of chondrichthyan faunas at this time.
36


P26) An analysis of genetic variation of Dermacentor variabilis using AFLP markers, a
preliminary study Julia Rhodes, Chris Allender, Rebecca Coleman, Paul Keim, and David
Wagner Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics, College of Engineering and Natural
Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
   Recently, an extensive study on the geographic and genetic distribution of F. tularensis in
North America was published (Farlow et al, 2005). The conclusions of that study are the basis for
a heightened interest in exploring vector genetics and geographic distributions. In this study we
examined the potential of Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) analysis for
exploring genetic relationships among populations of Dermacentor variabilis, an important tick
vector of tularemia. AFLP analysis detected polymorphisms through the restriction of genomic
DNA. This molecular sizing technique was utilized to produce fragment sizes on genomic DNA
extracted from D. variabilis specimens that were collected in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The
recognition of polymorphisms is based on a presence/absence analysis. Restriction enzymes used
were EcoR1 and Mse 1. The pre-selective PCR amplification employed a standard plus one base
pair primer sequence. The selective PCR amplification was modified to a plus four base pair
selection to provide for higher resolution markers. The resulting data provided for analysis of
genetic distance among samples using phylogenetic techniques. This analysis indicated that AFLP
analysis provides excellent genetic resolution within D. variabilis.




P27) The genetic diversity of Francisella tularensis in Oklahoma Kimberly Underwood, Julia
Rhodes, Amy Vogler, Dave Wagner, and Paul Keim Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics,
College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    Francisella tularensis is a facultative, intracellular bacterium and the causative agent of the
disease tularemia. Due to its high virulence F. tularensis could be a potential bioterrorism threat; it
is also a significant, naturally-occurring human health threat that has been reported from all states
except Hawaii. Highly sensitive genetic assays have been created to distinguish among the four
subspecies of F. tularensis. In the event of an outbreak, these assays can also facilitate the
identification and discrimination of the specific types of F. tularensis that are present. Using a
previously optimized eight marker subset of an original twenty-five marker MLVA (multiple-
locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis) system that was developed at NAU, thirty-six
isolates from Oklahoma were characterized. The genetic profiles of these samples were compared
to those from a diverse panel of F. tularensis isolates, including global isolates and isolates from
all four subspecies. This comparative study will provide important insights on the diversity of F.
tularensis in Oklahoma and place that diversity in a global context.
                                                                                                 37
P28) Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm bacteria deficient in flagellar production are
susceptible to human leukocyte killing in early, but not late, biofilm
development Candice Selgado, NAU, Falgstaff, AZ 86011.
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important human pathogen that causes chronic infections,
including those found in the lungs of Cystic Fibrosis patients. These infections are chronic, in
part, because of Pseudomonas aeruginosa's ability to form biofilms which are less susceptible to
antibiotics and to killing from the host's immune system. In recent years, many mutations have
been engineered in various P. aeruginosa strains that diminish quorum sensing, attachment,
biofilm formation and biofilm maturation. Additionally, some mutants have shown increased
sensitivity to antibiotics. We wanted to explore the role of genetics in P. aeruginosa biofilms and
determine which genes are responsible for increased defense against the host immune response.
To perform these tests, a modified version of the Kolter/O'Toole 96-well plate assay was utilized.
This mutant lacks the ability to form flagella which results in early biofilm developmental defects.
The biofilms were incubated with freshly isolated human peripheral blood leukocytes for 4 hrs at
37C. After 4 hrs, there was >log reduction in viable biofilm bacteria versus an internal control
and compared to wild-type biofilm bacteria. Killing was dependent upon the presence of
neutrophils, mononuclear cells and lymphocytes. These data demonstrate that targeting biofilms
in the human body early on in biofilm devleopment may represent the best strategy for therapeutic
treatment.




P29) A Quantitative Analysis of Tattoo Inks Haley Finley-Jones, Jani C. Ingram, PhD,
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
   The purpose of this study is to quantify the metals present in tattoo inks. Eighteen inks of
varying colors and manufacturers were analyzed on inductively coupled plasma optical emission
spectroscopy (ICP-OES), and a few with particularly high metal content were run on the
inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to corroborate the findings. These
preliminary results showed 14 metals were present, including lead, copper, and chromium.
However, the results were not quantified. The objective of this work was to quantitate the metal
content using atomic absorption (AA) and ICP-MS. Additionally, Raman spectroscopy was used
for a qualitative organic analysis. The inks used were chosen based on popularity of the brands
and mixing capabilities. The inks underwent a rigorous sample preparation of digestion in nitric
acid and hydrogen peroxide. They were then diluted and filtered for use in the instruments. Since
the FDA does not currently regulate tattoo inks, it is important to better understand their
composition. This research was made possible by the Hooper undergraduate research fellowship.
38
P30) Purification of the DNA Binding Domain in p53 Ellie J. Heintze, Matthew J. Gage,
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Cancer is still one of the leading causes of death in the Unites States. Research is widely being
done on cancer to try to develop possible treatments. A highly studied protein, p53, is a known
tumor suppressor. p53 is significant to cancer research because it can aid in DNA repair and
initiate apoptosis, or cell death. However, when p53 is deactivated, cancer is more likely to
progress because the tumor suppressor capabilities are diminished. There are several regions on
p53 that are of interest to better understand the regulation p53. One of these regions is the C-
terminus of the protein. The other region of interest on p53 is a region labeled the DNA Binding
Domain (DBD). This region is thought to play an important role in how p53 interacts with DNA.
It is known that p53 is regulated by the C-terminus, but the exact mechanism in unknown. There
are two proposed models, one model is that the C-terminus binds to the DBD and shuts down the
function of p53, while the other model speculates that the C-terminus competes with the DBD for
DNA binding. The focus of this research is to purify the DBD of p53. The DBD will then be
combined with a peptide from the C-terminus to show by FRET that the first known model is
correct. Then the full-length p53 protein will be studied to again verify that the proven first model
is how the C-terminus regulates p53. This research will aid in the understanding of how p53 is
activated and regulated in hopes of developing a mechanism by which the activation of p53 can be
controlled.



P31) Determination of Uranium in Plants near Abandoned Uranium Mines in Cameron,
Arizona
Colleen Cooley, Jani C. Ingram, Nancy Johnson Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 8601
   The issue with past mine activities from uranium mining continues to be a problem for the
people who live near the abandoned mines on the Navajo Reservation. Some studies have shown
that several wells on the Navajo Reservation have elevated levels of uranium in the water. In
addition to the water, soil and dust in areas near the abandoned mines is also suspected of
containing elevated levels of uranium. Both water and soil/dust are suspected pathways of
uranium exposure to the Navajo. A third possible uranium pathway is plants. The objective of my
study is to determine if there is any elevated uranium levels in the plants. My study site is located
off Highway 89A near the Cameron area. Three types of plants were collected on each side of the
highway and then taken back to the lab for further analysis. The plant samples were extracted and
then analyzed for uranium using the inductively-coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (ICP-MS).
The results of this work will be discussed.
                                                                                                 39
P32) Chemical Characterization of Well Water on the Navajo Reservation Ronda Francis, Jani
C. Ingram. Department of Chemistry and UMEB, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
   Currently there are hundreds of abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Reservation. Some
mines are in the backyard of present houses, which raises a concern of possible radiation related
health problems. Two overall goals of this study is to investigate the chemistry of water sampled
from ten wells located on the Navajo Reservation, specifically Leupp (east of Flagstaff, AZ) and
Cameron, AZ (northeast of Flagstaff, AZ) and determine water usage by the local communities of
these areas. After water samples were collected, they were measured in the field for pH, filtered
for further chemical analyses, and a portion was acidified for metals analysis. Anionic analyses
consisting of bicarbonates, chlorides, nitrates, and sulfates were recorded using ion
chromatography (IC). Cationic analyses consisting of sodium, potassium, calcium, and
magnesium were collected using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Elemental uranium and
arsenic analyses were gathered using an inductively-coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (ICP-MS).
A couple of the wells were shown to be excessively chlorinated. Six wells have high levels of
sodium, but low sulfate level. Uranium investigation revealed three samples to have elevated
uranium levels, especially in Cameron, AZ area. These high levels of uranium pose a potential
health risk. We are currently conducting an English-Navajo survey for these specific communities.
The focus of the survey is to investigate well water usage in a sense of whom and how they are
being utilized. This research is funded by the Native American Cancer Research Partnership
(NACRP) through the National Cancer Institute.


P33) Dynamics of Thymidine Kinase Enzyme for Controlling Inhibition of Emulated Smallpox
Nataly I. Vadasz, Robert Smith, Paul Torrence Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
College of       Engineering and Natural Sciences Northern Arizona University
    Thymidine kinase is the fundamental enzyme that increases the rate of reaction for viral
metabolism; the ongoing series of chemical interactions taking place that provide the energy and
nutrients to sustain life. Experiments were conducted to inhibit this enzyme in order for the
chemical reaction to be prevented or slowed down with the objective in preventing the virus from
having the necessary nutrition to function and cause damage to its host, the infected person.
Thymidine kinase (TK) is a key enzyme of the pyrimidine “salvage pathway” and catalyzes the
phosphorylation reaction of deoxythymidine (dT) in the presence of a magnesium ion yielding
dTMP and ADP. The thymidine kinase enzyme contains an allosteric site that binds the thymidine
5‟-triphosphate. This binding “turns off” the thymidine kinase. The study of inhibiting the vaccinia
virus thymidine kinase may result in discoveries regarding the inhibition of an essential viral
enzyme and possible antiviral drugs for the variola virus, because vaccinia virus is 99% identical
to the variola virus (smallpox). The results of the study show that a chemical compound was found
that can bind to the allosteric site without causing the required change in enzyme conformation
that turns off the enzyme, and prevent the binding of thymidine 5‟-triphosphate. This compound
increases the conversion of thymidine kinase substrates to products. Scientists and bio-warfare
experts warn that the United States is totally unprepared for a smallpox attack because the disease
- which spreads through the air with a 30 percent mortality rate - was believed to have been
eradicated in 1980 and there are few stockpiles of vaccines left and no medicine to treat the virus.
This research was funded by the NAU HOOPER Grant.
40

P34) Effects of Endosulfan on Thyroid Hormone-Dependent Development Soto-Peña, J.,
Schwendiman, A., Searcy, B., Propper, C.R. Department of Biological Sciences and Department
of Biochemistry and Chemistry, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    Endosulfan is a common pesticide that has known influencing the thyroid regulatory system.
In order to determine the effects of endosulfan on thyroid –dependent developmental changes in
amphibians, we exposed Xenopus laevis tadpole tails to endosulfan and/or thyroid hormone for 48
hours. This design allowed us to determine whether or not tadpole tail exposure to endosulfan
would act as an agonist or antagonist (ie. inhibit the action) of thyroid hormone. We found that
exposure to endosufan as low as 5 ppb, which is a dose commonly found in the environment
induced tail fin reduction. This was a preliminary experiment. We repeated the study with a
larger sample size, and we used lower doses of endosulfan. Unfortunately, we had difficulties
analyzing our data, because the imaging techniques used did not favor an optimal image, and there
may have been media contamination. Due to these circumstances, the experiment will be repeated
this summer to compare and analyze the differences between the data obtained in the previews
trials.



P35) Fungal Community Characterization: Using TRFLP to Compare Fungal Communities
Associated with Decomposing Leaf Litter in Fossil Creek, Arizona D.L. Kellerman, S.A. Nelson,
B.L. Harrop, M.E. Watwood; Department of Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Despite the ubiquity of microorganisms in the environment, the limitations of traditional
culture techniques and the scarcity of established research have left most microbial communities
poorly described. Because microorganisms play important roles in both the food web and
biogeochemical cycling, molecular techniques are useful to characterize and compare microbial
communities.
    Fossil Creek, a travertine stream in Arizona, is the subject of a river restoration project. Prior to
decommissioning of the hydropower dam and return of full flows to the creek, several studies
were conducted to provide baseline data for future research on ecosystem recovery. In association
with a leaf litter decomposition study, fungal communities were characterized and compared
between two leaf species and among five study sites along Fossil Creek. Different communities
were hypothesized to be associated with different leaf species and study site locations. These
hypotheses were based on differences in decomposition rates for the two leaf types and differences
in travertine deposition patterns among the study sites.
    To test these hypotheses, Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (TRFLP) was
used. TRFLP is a molecular technique that provides a community “fingerprint” based upon the
diversity of DNA sequences present in the sample. Preliminary TRFLP analyses suggest that
fungal communities vary primarily among study site locations and not with leaf species.
                                                                                               41


P36) Photovoltaic Cell Cold Climate Testing Brian Saunders, John Campbell, Jaclyn Stevens,
Mark Ibarra Mechanical Engineering
   Cold Climate testing involves measuring the physical movement of Photo Voltaic (PV) cell
mounting frames. This measured movement occurs naturally due to water seeping into joints and
freezing at night. Since the outdoor temperature varies from warm to cold, this cycling causes the
frame material (aluminum) to expand and contract, potentially resulting in faulty ground
connections. Under these circumstances, there is an electric safety concern occurring if a PV
cell‟s power wire touched the ungrounded frame. Should a person or animal come in contact with
the PV array under this scenario, they could be electrocuted. The solar team conducts various
experiments to document what happens to this PV array during the winter in Flagstaff Arizona,
where there is a freeze/thaw cycle. The company sponsor for this project is Kyocera Solar, Inc.




 P37) Boundary Approximation Using B-Spline Curves and Genetic Algorithms
Mike Thomson and Dr. Phillip Mlsna, Electrical Engineering Department, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.
   Our goal is to produce an efficient method of accurately approximating the boundaries of
regions extracted from image data. This will enable the efficient comparison of region shapes in a
content-based image retrieval application. We use B-splines to represent shape information
because 1) their control points are much more compact in storage and 2) translation, rotation, and
scaling are easily accomplished in B-spline form. This capability can be greatly utilized in areas
such as medical imaging, target recognition, or internet search engines.
   We are currently developing software to approximate the closed boundaries of shapes extracted
from an image. This approximation uses a set of 2nd-order B-spline curves, defined by a set of
control points. We have found that the number of control points used is consistently less than 1/3
the number of boundary pixels. This decreases search and computation time, and also reduces the
storage required. This approximation has three main stages: 1) initial boundary approximation
using matrix multiplication with the pixel-defined boundary‟s maximum curvature points to
produce B-spline control points; 2) error refinement using a gradient-descent algorithm to find
local minimum mean square errors (which usually are also global minima); 3) use of a genetic
algorithm to further refine error and to reduce the number of control points used. Preliminary
results and current work are described.
42


P38) Computational Fluid Dynamic Study of a Drosophila Wing Authors: Tarek Salameh, Dr.
Jan Theron, Dr. Earl Duque Department: Mechanical Engineering Department
    This study explores the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to analyze flapping wing
flight. New technologies have lead to an increased interest in the field of Micro Air Vehicles
(MAVs). MAVs are being considered for use in surveillance, search and rescue, and many other
dangerous and hard to reach situations. As a result of conventional fixed wing aircrafts failure to
fly at such low Reynolds numbers biological flight is receiving attention.
    Insects possess a number of qualities well suited for MAV applications. Insects have muscle
free wings that can be modeled as a rigid body, insects can hover, and insects can carry large loads
compared to their body weight.
    This study looks at the validity of CFD to study the aerodynamics of a drosophila (fruit fly)
wing under various conditions. This study compares the results to those completed in liquid
tunnel test at California Technical Institute.
    This project is funded under the Hooper Grant.




P39) Infrared to Radio Frequency Remote Control Translator – C. Franz, J. King, K.
Kirkpatrick, N. Lamar, N. Rodriguez, A. Sourix, J. Tolby, A. Tomlinson, J. Wheeler, Electrical
Engineering, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
   Physically challenged students at Sinagua High School use communication devices that can
emit infrared (IR) signals to control various devices. Devices that would motivate these students
to be more proficient with their communication device are hard to find, expensive, work only on
line-of-sight and are sometimes not age appropriate. Radio frequency (RF) controlled devices are
easier to find, less expensive and are more challenging and motivating. Therefore, the teachers at
Sinagua High School have requested that an IR to RF translator be designed and built so that at
least two RF devices can be operated simultaneously in various locations in and around the school.
They also requested that several age appropriate RF devices be procured and delivered with the
translator.
   The main benefit of this project is to provide age-appropriate and motivating RF devices that
can be operated with IR-emitting communication devices to enhance students‟ proficiency with
their communication devices. A secondary benefit is that the engineering students will experience
the engineering design process and work with physically challenged students. The physically
challenged students will experience more freedom and their quality of life will be enhanced. This
translator could also be used by others to control a variety of devices with IR remote controls. The
Meyerson Foudnation through a contract with NAU‟s Institute for Human Development is funding
this project.
                                                                                                43
P40) Morphology of Gunnison Prairie Dog Burrows
Kara Lewis and Jennifer Verdolin Dept. of Environmental Sciences, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011.
    The purpose of this study was to further the understanding of the morphology of the Gunnison
prairie dog burrow. Six burrows were excavated from June-August 2005 at an extinct colony in
Flagstaff, Arizona. Heavy rain during the winter of 2005 in the area led to repeated flash flooding
of the colony site and it was later found that the colony did not emerge from winter hibernation.
Burrows were selected using information from a previous study to determine burrow clusters from
a map generated using GPS in August in 2004. Due to the excessive flooding, many burrow
entrances and tunnels were found to be collapsed. Using hand gardening tools, shoves, pick axes
and a backhoe, tunnels were followed carefully as to not falsely create tunnel direction.
Measurements were recorded every 10-30 cm, depending on the total length of the tunnel.
Additional measurements at turns were also recorded, along with tunnel depth, diameter, number
of entrances, branches, turning bays and width of nests. It was found that burrow systems varied
from simple to complex depending on the length of the burrow, the number of branches, entrances,
turning bays, and nests. Simple burrows were found to be shorter and have only a few entrances,
branches, turning bays, and nests. More complex structures were found to be longer and have a
greater number of entrances, branches, turning bays, and nests. Simple burrow structures were
burrows 1, 3 and 4, while burrows 2,5 and 6 were found to be more complex (see Table 1).



P41) Evaluation and analysis of an environmental conservation campaign at Northern Arizona
University By Jessica Popp, Department of Environmental Sciences, CENS, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ
86011
   2005 the Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University launched a
pledge campaign asking faculty, staff and students to sign an electronic pledge card committing to
reduce resource consumption by ten percent during the month of October. This study used a 13-
question, multiple-choice survey to evaluate the pledge campaign participants‟ conservation
behavior and environmental attitudes. The survey was posted online and was answered by 13.3
percent of the 389 pledges. Statistical analysis of responses using univariate and bivariate data
was completed, revealing that a majority of participants are concerned with resource conservation
and that their motivations are environmentally-related. Findings related to the pledge campaign
suggest a change in advertising strategies for the campaign in subsequent years.
44

P42) Remote sensing and dendrochronology of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests in
relation to drought effects in Northern Arizona. Michael Barber1 and George Koch2
1
  Department of Environmental Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
2
  Department of Biology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    This study examined drought effects in Arizona pine forests by relating satellite imagery
(NDVI, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and tree ring width records to precipitation and
a drought Index (PDSI) at two sites. At one site, a positive linear relationship was observed
between the normalized ring width (NRW) and NDVI (R 2= 0.448, p= 0.017). NRW was
significantly correlated with precipitation at one site (R 2=0.128. p=0.147), with the level of
significance progressively increasing from a one year to five year rolling average of precipitation.
NDVI and NRW also showed increasing significance to PDSI from one to five year rolling
averages. This study indicates that satellite and ground-based assessments of forest response to
drought are generally in agreement, and points to the importance of lags in response of long-lived
evergreens to variation in moisture availability.



P43) Development and utilization of an In-Stream Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) Tag
System in the Monitoring of Coregonid movements on the Kuskokwim River, Alaska Montoya,
Jason D. Center For Environmental Science and Education, CENS, NAU Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kenai Fish and Wildlife Field Office, P.O. Box 1670, Kenai, AK
99611.
    Over the summer of 2005 a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag system was implemented
into the current monitoring of Kuskowkim River Coregonids including, humpback whitefish
Coregonus pidschian, broad whitefish C. nasus, and least cisco C. sardinella. These three species
are of great importance to the subsistence harvest of many native villages on the Kuskokwim
River. The objective of this study was to test the feasibility of using a PIT tag system to identify
individuals at their spring feeding grounds and their fall breeding grounds. Aspects of this
included the design and construction of a flow over PIT tag receiver that could be completely
submerged to allow for boat traffic in the creek. Additionally the already in place radio tagging
surgical procedures had to be modified for the addition of PIT tags. For this study two PIT tag
readers, manufactured by Oregon RFID® and a data-logger run on a Palm® handheld were used to
detect the 23mm half duplex glass transponders implanted in the fish. The PIT tags were
implanted into a variety of different locations on the fish including just posterior to the right side
of the dorsal fin, in the body cavity with a radio tag, and in the body cavity without a radio tag.
The initial results of this study are that of the 125 fish implanted with PIT tags a detection
frequency of 77.6% has been achieved to date. With this data the project will be adjusted for the
next tagging season that will begin in late April.
                                                                                                    45
P44) Effects of Harness Attached Radio Transmitters on Pinyon Jays
Christian A. Nunes, Russell Benford, Russell P. Balda Avian Cognition Laboratory, Department
of Biological Sciences Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    Few studies have investigated the potential behavioral implications of radio transmitter
attachment on mid-sized passerine birds. To investigate these possible implications, we attached
radio transmitters to six captive, free-flying pinyon jays (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus). Each
transmitter weighed  3% of the mass of the bird to which it was attached. Transmitters were
attached to each bird‟s back with an elastic harness lopped around the bird‟s upper thighs.
Following transmitter attachment and habituation, an ethogram of each bird‟s behavior was
created. Ethograms of the behavior of six control birds were simultaneously created. Control
birds, like experimental birds, were captive and free-flying, but they did not have radio
transmitters attached. Ethological observations were taken twice daily for five consecutive days.
Data on resting, preening, object manipulation, flying, walking/hopping, sociality, and foraging
were collected. Initial results suggest that there were no statistically significant differences in any
of the behaviors of experimental and control birds. These results support the hypothesis that the
attachment of a radio transmitter that is  3% of a bird‟s body mass does not affect the behavior of
the bird.




P45) Fossil Creek: A Post Dam Water Chemistry Analysis
Matthew Germansen, Dr. Rod Parnell. Environmental Science, NAU, Flagstaff, Az 86001.
    Fossil Creek is a spring-fed creek in Central Arizona, where ongoing research is assessing the
effects of dam removal on the watershed. Travertine formation rates were compared to pre-
removal levels and cation/anion concentrations were found. The experiments were completed at
seven sites throughout the creek from the springs to the lower reaches of travertine formation. The
results show that the travertine precipitation slowly decreases downstream after peaking at sites 2
and 3. The results indicate that the dam removal has had significant effects on the precipitation
rates. Chloride and sulfate concentrations stay consistent throughout the entire reach of the stream
(6 ppm and 25 ppm respectively). The studies at Fossil Creek represent some of the most
complete dam removal studies anywhere and these results will guide future dam removal projects
to encourage a healthy return to a natural system. Further research at Fossil Cr. will show the
effects of dam removal from the many different disciplines researching the system and the
compiled data will be used in the broader scope of watershed health in conjunction with several
other researchers and agencies.
46
   P46) Vegetation Responses to Long-Term Livestock Grazing and Habitat
Jon Bakker, Faith Rudebusch Environmental Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
   This study examines the effects of cattle grazing and habitat type (treed or park) on herbaceous
understory vegetation in ponderosa pine ecosystems. Our objective was to determine the
differences between treatments and habitats in terms of species richness, percent cover, species
composition, and differences between scales of studied areas. The sampled area consisted of three
plots of 192 contiguous Daubenmire quadrats (0.5 m2 ) in each treatment/habitat area. Park
quadrats had different species composition, more species richness at the quadrat scale, and more
percent cover at the quadrat scale than treed plots. Grazed plots had more exotic species, different
species composition, and higher species richness at a larger scale (> 50m2) than ungrazed plots.
We conclude that habitat type has a greater effect on species richness and cover at smaller scales
(0.5 m2) than grazing treatments, while grazing influences the numbers of exotic species, grazing-
tolerant species, and total species richness at larger scales (>50 m2). Ecological Restoration
Institute.
                                                                                                         47
MSD Graduates
Afternoon Session

P47) Establishing a Stable Nuclear Transformation System in Chlamydomonas monoica
Cesar Fuentes and Karen VanWinkle-Swift, Biological Sciences, NAU, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
    Nuclear transformation of various species has been achieved using glass bead vortexing and
electroporation. Expression of the newly inserted gene differs between species. It has been shown that
protoplasts and/or cell wall-less strains increase rates of transformation. In Chlamydomonas monoica, a
cell wall-less mutant has recently been isolated and is currently being used to develop nuclear
transformation protocols. The two main approaches that are used for transforming plastid and nuclear
genomes all aim at disrupting the cell membrane. Our laboratory is currently using electroporation and
glass bead vortexing as the two main approaches for transforming the C. monoica genome. We have
synthesized primers for amplification of two plasmids that we are currently using as transforming DNA.
These plasmids contain the selectable markers, aaDA conferring spectinomycin resistance and aphVII
conferring paromomycin resistance. Successful insertion and expression will result in antibiotic
resistance which will be further analyzed by PCR and Southern Blotting. We have recently verified the
presence of the aphVII gene (insert) in 3 transformants. The insertions were achieved by
electroporation and glass beading using the pSL17 (aphVII) plasmid. Recipient cells were grown on
solid media whereas all verified transformants in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii were grown in liquid
media. In C. monoica, cell growth is much slower than C. reinhardtii. The ability to transform plate
grown C. monoica cells allows us the ability to shorten the time between growth and transformation.
Verification of this insert was achieved using PCR. Southern Blots will also be performed to verify and
to determine the number of inserts transformed into the nuclear genome.


P48) Uranium Causes Rapid Estrogen Receptor-Dependant Responses
in Mcf-7 Human Breast Cancer Cells Julie E. Getz, Marilee Sellers, Stefanie R. Whish, Cheryl
A. Dyer Department of Biological Sciences, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences,
Northern Arizona University, PO Box 5640 Flagstaff, AZ 86011
    Currently the US EPA safe level for uranium (U) in drinking water is 30g/L. There are numerous
areas on the Navajo Reservation where the drinking water levels can be 10-100-fold higher than the
established safe level. Recent studies in our lab suggest that the heavy metal U mimics the reproductive
steroid, 17β-estradiol (E2), in vivo and in vitro, to elicit classical estrogen receptor dependant responses.
These responses have been blocked using a pure anti-estrogen ICI 182,780, suggesting the effects of
uranium are mediated by the ER. No studies have been conducted to determine if U can mediate rapid,
non-classical estrogenic responses such as cell surface morphological changes or mitogen activated
protein kinase (MAPK) activation. Here we used scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to demonstrate
that 60 min exposure to U, below the US EPA safe level, significantly increased the mean area of cell
surface microvilli on human breast cancer Mcf-7 cells and these changes were reduced in the presence
of ICI 182,780. We also demonstrated that U induces MAPK p44/42 phosphorylation within 5 min.
Pretreatment with tamoxifen, an estrogen receptor antagonist, significantly decreased MAPK
phosphorylation in both E2 and U treated cells. Our results suggest that U can mediate rapid estrogen
receptor-dependant responses in vitro and provides evidence that environmental U may be an endocrine
disrupting chemical that could contribute to increased risk of reproductive cancer. This work was
supported by grants from the Minority Student Development Program (NIGMS R25GM056931-07),
The Native American Cancer Research Partnership (NCI U54CA096320-04) and Academic Research
Enhancement Award and Supplement (NIEHS R15 ESO13481-01, R15 ES013481-01S1)

				
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