Environmental Genomics and Conservation Genetics Laboratory

Metadata Updated: March 8, 2017

Using Genetics, Genomics and Systems Biology to Find the AnswersAt the Engineer Research and Development Center[HTML_REMOVED]s (ERDC) Environmental Genomics and Conservation Genetics Lab (EGECL), located in the ERDC Environmental Laboratory (EL), researchers on the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB) team find ways to protect ecological health from chemical, physical and biological stressors - including existing and emerging contaminants, climate change and invasive species - to ensure range sustainability and limit liability. This team accomplishes its mission by utilizing omics (information derived from the genome and the pattern genes are expressed) and systems biology applications (mechanistic linkage of biological processes across organizational scales).Another team of EGECL researchers, the Conservation and Ecological Genetics Team (CEGT), explores ways in which genetics can be used to manage natural resources on Department of Defense (DOD) and USACE civil works lands. This group manages the Center for eDNA Application and Research (CeDAR) within the EGECL. CeDAR is a cutting-edge facility focused on basic and applied research, consultation and application of environmental DNA (eDNA) to a broad array of challenges.A Well-equipped Facility that Promotes Cutting-edge Advances in Genetics (including eDNA), Genomics and System Biology ResearchThe EGECL is a multifaceted laboratory designed for state-of-the-art genetics (including eDNA), genomics and systems biology research, providing a number of resources that enhance advanced approaches in these specialized areas. The facility is equipped with the following assets:A total of 4,000 square feet of general laboratory spaceHigh-throughput, real-time qPCRLow/medium throughput, next-generation DNA sequencerLow throughput, capillary-based DNA sequencerMedium/high throughput, microarray hybridization infrastructureHigh throughput, 2uM microarray scannerComputational software for systems biology modeling and bioinformatics analysesAccess to the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) High Performance Computing facilitiesCeDAR, which occupies 2,200 square feet of space, and which has access to high-throughput and advanced technologies in use (and in-house), including: Life Technologies ViiA TM 7 real-time PCR instrumentLife Technologies 3500XL genetic analyzerBioRad PharosFX TM DNA imager8 PCR thermal-cyclersInvitrogen E-gel systems390 square feet of clean room spaceCapabilities/ServicesThe following EGECL/EGSB capabilities and services provide forward-looking approaches for assessing environmental risks and the pro-active management of Army facilities:Omics - experiments, analysis, data mining, functional developmentFull-service Gene Expression technology development, assays, analysis, interpretationGenome-wide Association Studies - linking phenotypes to genomic structural variantsAdverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) development and archivingMechanism of action and molecular target discoveryLow/medium throughput nucleic acid sequencingPredictive mathematical modeling of molecular systems and other biological processes (e.g., toxicokinetics/dynamics)Bioinformatics - sequence assembly, genome annotations, biomarker identification, inference of biological networks and other software developed at customer[HTML_REMOVED]s demandWith advanced capabilities, including next generation massive parallel sequencing, conventional capillary sequencing, real-time PCR, and cutting edge methodologies, the EGECL/CEGT - in its CeDAR facility - provides state-of-the-art capabilities for working with aquatic eDNA and other demanding DNA resources. In addition to studying and applying eDNA to resolve challenges, the EGECL/CEGT in its CeDAR:Has or is developing approaches and tools for using eDNA to monitor invasive black car, Dreissenid mussels and endangered sturgeonConducts pioneering research into the use of: Aquatic eDNA sampling for characterizing the faunal communities that utilize limited water resources in desert landscapesScat-based eDNA approaches for characterizing food resources utilized by endangered or sensitive species, such as batsNectar-based eDNA approaches for understanding pollination community dynamicsSuccess StoriesIn 2013, the EGECL/EGSB collaborated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop a highly robust mathematical model for predicting the effects of endocrine disruption on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad-liver axis. This model was developed to predict adverse effects of environmental chemical exposure on reproduction in fish. The collaboration was a test case for using this technology to proactively manage ranges by determining risks associated with chemical hazards. In December of 2013, the value of this model to risk and hazard assessment was recognized by the whole of the U.S. Army.In 2010, the EGECL/CEGT assisted the USACE Lakes and Rivers Division and their partners with processing large numbers of invasive silver and bighead carp eDNA samples from the Chicago Area Waterways System. The EGECL/CEGT successfully implemented a high-throughput eDNA processing capability with stringent quality assurance measures to meet that demand.In 2011, EGECL/CEGT was a leader in a major multiagency research effort, funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, to study a wide variety of factors surrounding the nature and use of eDNA data for Asian carp. The results of these studies have been improved eDNA sample processing methods and detection tools, as well as new insights into vectors for eDNA transport and fate in the environment. The establishment of CeDAR was a direct outgrowth of this important work.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date March 8, 2017
Metadata Updated Date March 8, 2017

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Harvested from Federal Laboratory Consortium Data.json

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Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date March 8, 2017
Metadata Updated Date March 8, 2017
Publisher Federal Laboratory Consortium
Unique Identifier ACB59097-0B44-4445-966D-8672490DC21C
Richard Lance
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
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