The Water Quality, Environmental, and Molecular Microbiology Laboratory

Michigan State University


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Laboratory Capabilities





Microbial Source Tracking (MST)

Additional Capabilities


The Rose Water Quality and Environmental Molecular Microbiology (WQEMM) Laboratories at Michigan State University are full-scale laboratories capable of performing research in environmental bacteriology, parasitology, virology, algal toxins. The laboratories have over 2500 ft2 of research space, including a separate tissue cell culture room and sample processing room. Equipment includes: Biological Safety Cabinets, inverted and epifluorescence microscopes, an autoclave, high-speed and micro- centrifuges, hybridization chambers, fluorometer, CO2 incubator, dry incubators, -80°C freezers, liquid nitrogen storage tank, ELISA microplate reader, refrigerators/freezers, mixing platforms, and several computer workstations. Field equipment is available for collecting water samples from a variety of environments. Cell culture laboratories are available for Cryptosporidium and cultivatable viruses.

The laboratory also includes equipment for PCR and QPCR (Light cycler 1.5 and 480), MagNA Pure LC System (Roche Applied Science) for automated DNA extraction, DNA electrophoresis, DNA hybridization, and for plating, counting, and harvesting bacteria, parasites and viruses. In the common use areas for the faculty, a central room houses ultracold freezers, dishwashers, and an autoclave. Adjoining rooms include a cold room and a room that contains a laminar flow workbench for setting up PCR reactions, and DNA extraction. The final room houses equipment for DNA sequencing and fragment analysis, and an environmental chamber. An adjacent dark room contains equipment for visualization of DNA and imaging of protein gels.


The personnel have extensive experience with microarrays using Xeotron platform and glass slide arrays. The laboratory also has a glass slide arrayer built according to Pat Brown’s specifications (M-Guide: and an Axon Instruments GenePix 4000A laser scanner. Other molecular biology equipment includes; 96-well centrifuge, 96-well SpeedVac, gel documentation system, 96-well gradient thermocycler, hybridization chambers, vacuum oven, shaker incubator, UV Transilluminator, GeneSpring Data Analysis Software, and Array Designer Probe Design Software.


Other Resources: The MSU Genomic Technology and Support Facility is located near the WQEM laboratory and has 3 high throughput sequencers, Real time PCR and associated robotics, software and staff. The Macromolecular Synthesis Facility (for primer synthesis, peptide sequencing), the NIH-supported Regional Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, and the MSU Center for Electron Optics with a range of electron microscopes and confocal laser scanning microscopes with 3-D image reconstruction are also located on MSU’s campus.

Water Quality Laboratory