P229: Integrating an authentic research experience across multiple chemistry and biology lab courses at Otterbein University
An interdisciplinary, authentic research experience has been incorporated into chemistry, biochemistry, and biology courses at Otterbein University. The project examines enzyme kinetics, protein structure, and gene expression pertaining to the bacterial species Streptomyces coelicolor (wild-type strain MT1110 and phosphodiesterase double mutant TH106). Experiments have been implemented into Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Cell Biology. In Physical Chemistry, cyclic-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activities in crude lysates (MT1110, heat-inactivated MT1110, and double mutant TH106) are examined via enzyme kinetics. In Biochemistry, Streptomyces proteins are used to introduce the use of structural databases. In Cell Biology, potential c-di-GMP signaling pathways are explored for Streptomyces bacterial strains through semi-quantitative PCR. As assessed via pre/post-lab surveys and course assignments, students demonstrate increased understanding of content-based objectives and report greater awareness of interdisciplinary research questions. Successes and challenges of this project, especially as they pertain to the possibility of future interdisciplinary Otterbein chemistry coursework, will be discussed.