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Faculty Mentor

Marie-Laure Sauer, Fedora Sutton

Abstract

In order to develop software tools to monitor rates of total protein turnover in plants, attempts were made to maximally label all the proteins in vivo. Our study focused on the use of the stable isotope of hydrogen, deuterium, to label proteins of C. reinhardtii. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of the label on algal growth. C. reinhardtii is a unicellular green algae that is heterotrophic, photoautotrophic and mixotrophic. The results showed that increasing concentrations of deuterium in the algal growth medium had a negative effect on the growth of the algae. These preliminary results indicated that other stable isotopes such as Nitrogen-15 and Carbon-13 should be assayed to see if, contrary to deuterium, they allow normal growth of the algae.

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