Isolation of Juniper Mitochondria




Natasha Gambhir

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The aim of the research was to conduct an experiment separating the organelles of the plant, Juniperus virginiana, in a gradient in order to isolate the mitochondria from chloroplasts. Purifying the mitochondria would allow sequencing of the mitochondrial genome of Juniper and learning more about the plant and its history. The challenge of the experiment was to see if the mitochondria and the chloroplast could be separated into different layers in a gradient in order to extract simply the mitochondria. To analyze the organelles found in each layer and locate specific organelles, gel electrophoresis and a western blot with antibodies for mitochondria and chloroplast were used. Several trials with different gradients were conducted including a sucrose gradient, a Percoll gradient and a combined sucrose and Percoll gradient. Each trial alters the procedure in an attempt to further isolate the mitochondria.