PRECS student projects

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2021


Nitrogen (N) fixing bacteria have a symbiotic relationship with host plants. The legume plants provide sugar, a product of its photosynthesis, to rhizobacteria. Rhizobacteria, one of the various N fixing bacteria, utilize the sugar for its energy source needed for conversion of N2into NH4+. The rhizobacteria would provide fixed nitrogen to legume plant for its growth in exchange of energy source. There are various symbiotic relationships between microbes and plants, and the Heath Lab is especially interested in relationship between rhizobacteria and legume plants. Various genomic methods to study rhizobacteria require sequence data in Heath Lab. However, there is high possibility of contamination in the sequence data, which may lead to false result in research. Possible non-rhizobacteria that reside within the legume nodules, which don’t participate in N fixation but in survival of the legume plant, could affect the research as well. It was recently found that rhizobacteria other than Ensifer meliloti reside within the legume nodules. Due to the existence of other rhizobacteria, we need a protocol to differentiate between these bacteria. Here, we designed a protocol based on comparing the sequences of E.meliloti from the Heath Lab against public database to determine the level of contamination.


Copyright is owned by the creator of this work.


This research was conducted with the cooperation of the Department of Plant Biology, College of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Financial support was provided by the National Science Foundation under grant #NSF REU 1950819/1950786, as part of the Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute for Genomic Biology and Parkland College.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.