FCE LTER Journal Articles


One-dimensional and two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis: a tool for protein characterisation in aquatic samples


Dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) represents the least understood part of the nitrogen cycle. Due to recent methodological developments, proteins now represent a potentially characterisable fraction of DON at the macromolecular level. We have applied polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to characterise proteins in samples from a range of aquatic environments in the Everglades National Park, Florida, USA. Sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) showed that each sample has a complex and characteristic protein distribution. Some proteins appeared to be common to more than one site, and these might derive from dominant higher plant vegetation. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) provided better resolution; however, strong background hindered interpretation. Our results suggest that the two techniques can be used in parallel as a tool for protein characterisation: SDS-PAGE to provide a sample-specific fingerprint and 2D-PAGE to focus on the characterisation of individual protein molecules.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DBI-0620409 and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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