Barcode Long Island Team Freeport High School
Barcode Long Island
Research Topic:
Biodiversity & trade
Taxonomic Group Studied:
Animals: Invertebrate


The Effect of Environmental Pollution on Insect Biodiversity
Karina Rios, Elise Smith
Freeport High School, Nassau
Edward Irwin


DNA barcoding has emerged as the primary method of identifying species of plants, animals, invertebrates and fungi. The primary goal of our DNA Barcode project is to compare ants from the north and south shore of Long Island. Using DNA Barcoding, it is hypothesized that the identification of new species can be used as an indication that environmental contamination has direct involvement in altering biodiversity on Long Island. Ants were collected along with soil samples. Soil was analyzed for mercury using atomic absorbance and used as an indicator of environmental pollution. As anticipated, soil samples taken near landfills of the north and south shores showed increased levels of mercury contamination. In preparation for sequencing, DNA extractions were performed followed by the PCR reaction. PCR products were displayed by agarose gel electrophoresis and only successful PCR products will be submitted for sequencing. Legal considerations have prevented taking samples inside the landfil


Team samples: