Molecular Microbial Ecology and Genomics Laboratory

Lab Description

The Molecular Microbial Ecology and Genomics Lab is fully equipped for state-of-the-art molecular biology, genomics, and bioinformatics research including capabilities to facilitate high-throughput molecular biology work (multichannel pipettors, 96-sample gel apparatus, vacuum apparatus for 96-well plate mini-prepping, purifications), cultivation and recombinant DNA research.

The laboratory is fully equipped with the instrumentation, supporting equipment and computational resources required for closing and annotating genome sequences.

The lab also has thermal cyclers, an ABI 3130 Avant Genetic Analyzer (for DNA sequencing and fragment analysis), refrigerated and room temperature microfuges, a Nanodrop spectrophotometer, hybridization oven, several gel electrophoresis boxes, a DGGE unit, and UV transilluminator and digital imaging system (Kodak). The lab is set up to perform DNA microarray hybridizations, including a microfluidic hybridization station, staining dishes and racks for array manipulations, hybridization cassettes, water baths, hot blocks, centrifuge with microtiter plate spinning capacity, and an Axon 4000B Scanner. A suite of microbial growth rooms (-10°C and 4°C), shaking and stationary incubators in addition to storage facilities including -80oC and -20°C freezers, and 4°C chromatography refrigerator are also available. A Milli-Q water system is in place providing RNAse-free water. Expected completion of a new 4500 sq.ft. wing will be added to the Maxey Building at DRI to accommodate a new laboratory being custom-designed for Murray’s group. The primary lab will be 660 sq ft. with three shared equipment rooms totaling ~300 sq ft.

Adjacent shared-use equipment include a Varian spectrophotometer, Molecular Dynamics 96-well spectrometer and a 96-well fluorometer, Chef DR-II pulsed field gel electrophoresis (BioRad), laminar flow hood, autoclave, and Olympus BX60 Epifluorescence Microscope with MTI CCD camera and image-Pro Plus image analysis software. In Summer 2007 a new Confocal Microscope will be acquired with research funds from a collaborative NSF-MRI grant.


Alison Murray, Ph.D.
Lab Director


Desert Research Institute
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512


Earth & Ecosystem Sciences