Ecological Genetics Labs (EGLAB)

The Ecological Genetics Lab (EGLab) has the role of granting researchers access to the genetic diversity of the organisms living in French Guiana tropical rain forests. Its duties include the experimental study of the genetic basis of biological characteristics (DNA properties, enzymatic properties, morphological and functional characteristics, physico-chemical properties…) and their inter- and intraspecific diversity. Furthermore, the lab develops and applies genetic methods to understand the mechanisms underlying forest dynamics.
The EGLab’s infrastructures are dedicated to the understanding of genotypes and environment interactions, using a wide array of molecular methods and their connections with other ecological disciplines. Located on the Agronomic Campus of Kourou, the platform is composed of six devices:

  • Greenhouses to grow forest trees seedlings, follow their biological properties, and conduct quantitative genetic analyses.
  • DNA Extraction and storage lab for nucleic acids and enzymatic extractions. This lab is an interface between “dirty” field work and other more sensitive “clean” labs, which helps reduce contamination risks.
  • Microbiology lab to analyze and grow micro-organisms either to study them or to use them as vectors for DNA cloning.
  • Molecular biology lab to prepare samples for gene expression analyses, DNA amplification for marker genotyping and DNA sequencing.
  • Molecular detection lab for enzymatic typing, DNA sequencing, and genetic marker genotyping, using automated devices to detect and characterize these biological molecules.
  • Statistical analysis server with the needed hardware and software suited to systematic analysis of genetic data produced by EGLab.

Notable equipment:

  • An ABI 16-capillary Sequencer from Applied Biosystems, acquired in 2004, for marker genotyping and DNA sequencing.
  • Several -80°C freezers, acquired between 1999 and 2013, to store and preserve samples.
  • A Bead Mill, acquired in 2007, to extract DNA and RNA (96 wells plates).
  • An Incubator, acquired in 2009, to extract and grow bacterial cultures with a shaking plate and a max temperature of 60°C.
  • A Speedvac acquired in 1999 to dry DNA and RNA, with a capacity of 60 tubes.
  • Refrigerated Centrifuges acquired in 2009 and 2015.
  • An Ice Maker, acquired in 2013, to perform PCR.
  • An Autoclave acquired in 1999 for sterilization.
  • Several Heat Chambers acquired in 1979, 1987 and 2004, to dry samples.
  • A Spectrophotometer with Cuvettes, acquired in 2003, for colorimetric assay.
  • A microbiological Security Station acquired between 1984 and 1996 for cloning and microbial culture.
  • A Milli-Q device from Millipore, acquired in 2001, to produce ultrapure water for genotyping and sequencing.
  • Gel Documentation System (Gel Doc) acquired in 2009 to read DNA and RNA migration.
  • A Nano Drop device, acquired in 2019 for DNA and RNA assays.
  • A Qubit Fluorometer acquired in 2014 for precise DNA and RNA assays.
  • Thermocyclers, acquired in 2002, 2007 and 2008 for PCR (amplification).
  • A Thermocycler Tetrad-2, acquired in 2009 for PCR (amplificatio

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