2001 Symposium Program


First Annual Science Research Symposium

University of Illinois Springfield
April 27, 2001

Moderator: Dr. Nada Chang

8:30 – 9:30 InformationTable and Refreshments (HSB 2nd Floor)

9:00 – 9:10 Opening Remarks

9:10 – 9:30 Chemistry Comes Alive: From Videodisc to CD-ROM
Jerrold J. Jacobsen1, Kristin Johnson1, John W. Morr1, and
Gary Trammell2. (1) Department of Chemistry, University
of Wisconsin-Madison, and (2) Chemistry Department, UIS  

9:30 – 9:50 From New Physics to New Mathematics
Hei-Chi Chan, Mathematical Science Department, UIS

9:50 – 10:10 Synthesis of and Anion Intercalation of the Layered
Double Hydroxide, -Cobalt Hydroxide
Brian Connery* & Keenan E. Dungey, Chemistry Department,

10:10-10:30 X-Ray Diffraction of Alpha-Zirconium Phosphate
Paul Epstein* & Keenan E. Dungey, Chemistry Department, UIS

10:30 – 11:20 Coffee Break and POSTER SESSION
Meet poster presenters. Posters on display throughout the day.

11:20 – 12:20 Keynote Address: The Biology of Spiders From
Front to Back Dan Mott, Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Lincoln Land Community College

12:20 – l:40 LUNCH (UIS Cafeteria: PAC Building, lst Floor)

Moderator: Dr. Michael Lemke

1:40 – 2:00 The Microbial Ecology of the Predacious Bacteria, Bdellovibrio, in a Lake Ecosystem Lori Claybaugh* and Michael Lemke, Biology Department, UIS

2:00 – 2:20 GIS Mapping of the Loss of Temporary Wetlands in
Champaign County Lisa McCauley* and David Jenkins, Biology Department, UIS

2:20 – 2:40 Comparative Studies of Sperm Ultrastructure in
Cold- and Warm- Blooded Vertebrates Patrick High* & Nada Chang, Biology Department, UIS

2:40 – 3:00 Cell Signaling Requirements of CD4 T
Lymphocyte Proliferation and Expression Denise Liesen*1, Edward Moticka2 , and Nada Chang1. Biology Department, UIS1; Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, SIU School of Medicine2

3:00 – 3:20 The Ultrastructure of the Genetically Engineered Bt
Corn Kathryn Dinardo* and Nada Chang, Biology Department UIS

3:20 – 3:40 A Study of Four Class B Emission Stars Jennifer Hubbell Thomas*, Astronomy and Physics, Individual
Option Programs, UIS

3:40 – 3:50 Student Awards [Compliments of Dr. Ann Larson]

Closing Remarks

RECEPTION in HSB Art Gallery:

– Honor Dr. Ann Larson on the occasion of her retirement.
– Meet Research Symposium presenters and view the posters.
Note: Asterisk identifies student presenter.


Health and Sciences Building, Second Floor
9:00 AM and on – all day long
Meet the authors: 10:30 AM Coffee Break and 4:00 PM Reception

Water Chemistry of Temporary Wetlands as a Potential Indicator of Amphibian Habitat Chris R. Blattel* and David G. Jenkins, Biology Department, UIS

Effect of Arduous Physical Training on Myocardial Enzymes in Aging Rats
Jeffrey Chesky, Gerontology Program, UIS

Self-assembly of Gold/Zr(HPO4)2 Nanocomposites Jayson A. Coble* and Keenan E. Dungey, Chemistry Department, UIS

A Comparison of Microorganisms in Saline Environments
Mandy Cook* and Michael Lemke, Biology Department, UIS

A Simple Apparatus for the Study of the Effects of Environmental Factors on Drosophila Life Cycle Chad Grueter* and Brad Grueter*, Biology Department (Nada Chang – adviser), UIS

A Cell Biology Lab: Quantitative Comparisons of Lectin Receptors in Human Cheek Cells Kathleen Mahoney* and Ann Larson, Biology Department, UIS

The Synthesis of Oroxylin-A
Aaron McLean and Gary Trammell, Chemistry Department, UIS

Optimizing Conditions for PCR Amplification of Human Polymorphic DNA from Cheek Cells and Cigarette Butt Saliva Samples
Aaron D. Reiterman* and Roy H. Mosher, Biology Department, UIS.

Population Genetics Structure of Musculium securis (Sphaeriidae, Bivalvia) in a Cluster of Temporary Ponds
Noah M. Reynolds* and David G. Jenkins, Biology Department, UIS

Lab Protocol: Using CaseIt to Create Restriction Endonuclease Maps
James A. Whitler*, Biology Department, UIS

Comparative Study of Decomposition of Leaves
Lisa Winhold*, David Jenkins and Michael Lemke, Biology Department, UIS


Jerrold J. Jacobsen1, Kristin Johnson1, John W. Moore1, and Gary Trammell2. (1) Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706 and (2) Chemistry Program, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, IL 62794-9243

As a sabbatical project in 1991 I videotaped a series of demonstrations in organic chemistry with the assistance of Steve Dykema from the UIS Television Office. These demonstrations were published as a videodisc by the Journal of Chemical Education Software. For the past year we have been working on converting our video clips to a CD-ROM and adding additional demonstrations in organic and biochemistry. This project is now complete and will be distributed through the Journal of Chemical Education Software as Volume 5 in the chemistry Comes Alive series.
Hei-Chi Chan. Mathematical Science Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois,62794

In the past few decades, advancement in Quantum Field Theory (a tool for studying High Energy Physics) led to many new and unexpected results in several branches of pure Mathematics (e. g., geometry and topology). One famous example is the discovery of the Seiberg-Witten Equations, which brought great impact to the studies of low dimensional “space-time” models (i.e., manifolds). In this talk, we report some recent progress in generalizing the Seiberg-Witten Equation. Potential applications will be discussed.

Brian Connery and Keenan E. Dungey. Chemistry Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois, 62794.
Much attention is being paid to the synthesis of layered double hydroxides for uses in catalysis, electrode applications, adsorbents, and as anion exchange compounds in water treatment. These materials are isostructural to the minerals Brucite and Hydrotalcite. The hydrotalcite-like compound, – cobalt hydroxide, has the formula of [Co2+(1-x)Co3+](OH)2[An-]x/n . zH2O. It forms positively charged layered sheets, which are balanced by gallery anions within the interlayers. We have synthesized a new -cobalt hydroxide by a precipitation method with cobalt acetate and an ammoniacal solution. Extensive air purging is utilized to oxidize the compound, which increases the positive charge by promoting more Co2+ to Co3+. Identifying the – cobalt hydroxide crystal is primarily achieved by X-ray diffraction analysis. FTIR spectra are also collected and give information about the identity and orientation of the interlayer anions. With confirmation from X-ray diffraction data that a crystal structure has been obtained, intercalation of different anions can be attempted. The anions from the surfactants, sodium butyl sulfate and sodium dodecyl sulfate, were used to exchange in solution for the acetate anion by a heating and aging process. Successful anion exchange would be indicated in the X-ray diffraction patterns. By introducing the surfactants into the interlayer of -cobalt hydroxide, the resulting expanded material would be useful for battery electrode applications.

POPULATION GENETIC STRUCTURE OF Musculium securis (Sphaeriidae,
Noah M.Reynolds and David G. Jenkins. Department of Biology, University Illinois
at Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794.

Musculium securis is a member of the Sphaeriidae family of bivalve mollusks. Systematics studies have evaluatedrelationships between genera and species of Sphaeriidae, but none have been carried out solely to study the genetic structurewithin and between populations of Musculium securis. Cellulose gel electrophoresis was used to examine the allozyme variation inMusculium securis to gain an understanding of their population structure in a closely-spaced set oftemporary ponds in central Illinois. Six enzyme systems were examined in samples from 4 ponds. Results indicate that the populations of self-fertilizing hermaphrodites are essentially clonal and appear to support the hypothesis of a single founding event, followed by eventual dispersal among ponds.

James A. Whitler. Biology Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794.
The primary goal of this project is to establish a straightforward protocol for Restriction endonuclease mapping using the CaseIt DNA electrophoresis software package. CaseIt is an NSF-supported project initiated by participants in the BioQUEST curriculum consortium. The CaseIt software provides students with an opportunity to simulate many of the steps used by molecular biologists during the initial characterization of a novel DNA fragment. With CaseIt, students may digest any DNA sequence with any combination of restriction enzymes, separate the restriction fragments by gel electrophoresis, and begin the process of ordering the restriction fragments into a map. Students begin the protocol by locating specific DNA sequences in the GenBank online database via the Internet. Once a sequence is located and downloaded, the protocol provides instructions for using the CaseIt software to digest the DNA sequence with three different restriction enzymes either singly or in combination. The virtual digests are loaded individually onto a simulated agarose gel and electrophoresed; the software then calculates the actual sizes (in basepairs) of the resulting restriction fragments. The final section of the protocol provides detailed and illustrated instructions for creating a restriction map of the fragments.

Lisa Winhold, David Jenkins and Michael Lemke. Biology Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794.

The decomposition of leaves in various habitats was studied to determine if leaf matter decomposed quicker when submerged. Bags of leaves were placed and then collected over time from a flood plain, temporary pond, forest floor, and the Illinois River. It was hypothesized that submerged leaves would decompose at a higher rate due to more physical and bacterial activity than the leaves along the forest floor. To test this hypothesis, leaves were analyzed for carbon content and bacterial density. Leaves with the least carbon should have the most bacteria. The results and discussion of the results will be presented.

Kathleen Mahoney and Ann Larson. Biology Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794.

This study was undertaken to develop a technique that would provide quantifiable data of the Concavalin-A reaction with human cheek epithelium, for analysis using SCION (NIH Image) morphometric technique and the Modern Biology Kit experiment 702: Analysis of Cell Surface Receptor. The kit allows the observer to determine the presence of the receptor and the inhibition effects of the reaction by mannose/galactose washes as a reaction/no reaction response. The use of a counter stain not only ensures that cells exist on the slide, but also sets up a quantifiable comparison for image analysis. Staining modification using toluidine blue permits the quantification of the relative number of receptor sites and allows students to look for patterns of relative numbers and degrees of sensitivity of the reaction.

Aaron McLean and Gary Trammell. Chemistry Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794

Oroxylin-A is a chemical found in a plant extract. The plant extract has a medicinal effect. It is believed that Oroxylin-A is one of the chemicals in the extract that produces this effect. The goal of my research was to be able to make a synthetic version of this compound. The last literature published on this particular synthesis was in 1948. Another goal of my research was to apply more up-to-date technology to this multi-step synthesis. At this time I have only been able to get through two of the steps in the synthesis. There has been difficulty in the second step. By the end of the semester I hope to have a pure crystal of the end product in the second step of the synthesis.

Aaron D. Reiterman* and Roy H. Mosher. Biology Department, University of Illinois at
Springfield, Springfield, IL 62794

During the first phase of this project procedures for the rapid extraction of human DNA and amplification of the dimorphic PV-92 locus on chromosome 16 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were optimized and incorporated into an exercise for Biology 381 students. In some individuals the PV92 locus contains a 300-bp insertion called an Alu element whereas in others it is absent. Individuals may be homozygous (+/+ or -/-) for the presence or absence of the Alu element, respectively, or they may be heterozygous (+/-). Using pooled class data, students calculate the allele and genotype frequencies at the PV92 locus and determine whether they are in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. A second phase of this project deals with the stability of human DNA on smoked cigarette butts exposed to the external environment for increasing periods of time. Initial experiments have focused on optimizing conditions for extracting DNA from smoked cigarette butts and using PCR to amplify specific polymorphic sites from the extracted material. DNA samples recovered from smoked cigarette butts, placed in an open field for increasing amounts of time, will be analyzed for efficiency of PCR amplification at various polymorphic sites using comparative agarose-gel electrophoresis. It is expected that the amount and quality of DNA extracted from cigarette butts will decrease with increasing exposure time resulting in a gradual drop in PCR amplification efficiency.

Mandy Cook and Michael J. Lemke. Department of Biology, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, IL 62794

The understanding of microbial life in extreme environments is attracting great interest from scientists. This study examines microorganism abundance in extreme saline aquatic ecosystems, and compares the findings to abundances in other less saline aquatic systems. The study objectives were to determine the total number of bacteria, and number of microorganisms in the Domains Archaea and Bacteria in water samples of varying salt concentrations. Water samples (n=3) were collected from seven sites in Alabama and Florida between June – September 2000: saline seep (48ppt), Salt Springs (45 ppt), Pensacola Beach, FL. (37 ppt), estuary (26 ppt), lake-saline river inlet (10 ppt), and two sites of a freshwater stream (Up-stream 3 ppt, Down-stream 0 ppt). Total bacteria numbers, determined by the DAPI method, showed highest abundance in the estuary sample (3.01 x 106/ml) compared to the Salt Springs samples (3.97 x 104/ml), which were 98% lower. In-situ, whole-cell hybridization was used to determine abundance of prokaryotes in each Domain. Both Domains had highest abundance at the estuary site (Bacteria 6.51 x 105, Archaea 3.72 x104). The Salt Springs had 1.19 x 104 Bacteria and 1.73 x 103 Archaea. Active prokaryotes, (calculated as the number of hybridized cells/number of DAPI-stained cells) showed a general increasing trend when looking from least to highest salinities. These results show that even though the most abundant site of study was the estuary, the most cellular activity is occurring in the Salt springs for Archaea (45 ppt) and in the Saline seep for the Eubacteria (48 ppt).
Chad Grueter and Brad Grueter. Biology Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794.

D. melanogaster is one of the most valuable organisms in biological research. Conventional culture vials do not permit easy sampling of the organisms, or observation of animal behavior and development. To address these issues we have created a modification of the existing culture apparatus that is cheap and easily made by the students. It consists of an adapter made of a clear plastic tube (1.25 in wide and 4 in long) glued onto the lid of a petri plate with an opening that matches the width of the tube. For full advantage of the apparatus, the petri plates should be filled with a transparent culture medium, composed of Bacto agar, corn syrup, water and mold inhibitor. The tube adapter containing the pupae attached to the mesh and/or the adults can be removed and replaced by a petri dish lid. This then allows for unobstructed observation, counts and measurements of egg and larval developmental stages through the lid of the petri plate. The movable adapter feature also permits isolation of the individual adults or pupae, without disturbing eggs and larvae. We have used the apparatus to study the effects of the estrogen hormones on animal development. The apparatus could be also used to study the impact of various environmental chemicals or the presence of other organisms on Drosophila development and behavior.
Jeffrey Chesky, Gerontology Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794.

Animals store energy in the form of the chemical known as adenosinetriphosphate (ATP). In muscles, this energy is released by the enzyme actomyosin ATPase. Levels of this enzyme decrease with advancing age. Can this age-related loss be ameliorated by rigorous exercise? In one study, rats were forced to swim 15-20 min/day starting at weaning. As they grew older, they had higher ATPase levels compared to sedentary controls, but it was not because exercise raised the enzyme levels; rather, the sedentary rats exhibited the age-associated decline. In another study, exercise training was initiated in rats of different ages (young, middle-aged, senescent) who swam one hour per day, five days per week. Those that started exercising at younger ages had increased enzyme levels compared to sedentary controls. Those that started to exercise in old age had diminished ATPase levels. This is called negative adaptation to exercise in old age. In another study, old rats were exercised at different levels of intensity (30 min vs. 120 min swimming per day). Those that exercised at low intensity did show higher levels than sedentary controls. One possible conclusion is that older animals still adapt to exercise stress, but the exercise intensity should be reduced. [This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Federation for Aging Research, the American Heart Association (Illinois affiliate and Greater Miami affiliate), and the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research. I acknowledge the contributions of many students over the years including: Robert Edkins, David Farrar, Cindy Fortado, John Hudson, Jimmy Kong, Sharron Lafollette, and Mark Travis.]

Jayson Coble and Keenan E. Dungey. Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794

In recent history, the chemical industry has experienced a rapid growth in nanoscale materials research. Nanoscale materials often exhibit physical properties that are somewhat different than their macroscale counterparts, including their optical properties. Our research involves the synthesis of novel, solid-state materials for future use in optical applications, such as laser devices. Using published methods, thiol derivatised gold nanoparticles are synthesized using various thiols, then successfully characterized using elemental analysis, and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. Concurrently, a transparent inorganic matrix, alpha-zirconium phosphate crystals (-ZrP) were synthesized and successfully characterized using X-ray diffraction. After characterization, the water soluble gold nanoparticles are dissolved and combined with exfoliated -ZrP in an aqueous environment. The goal of this mixture is to intercalate the gold nanoparticles into the inorganic matrix, producing a more versatile, optically active compound. The compound’s exact composition, structure, and optical properties are then rigorously analyzed using electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, respectively.

Paul Epstein and Keenan E. Dungey. Chemistry Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794.

The purpose of this experiment is to examine the amount of intercalation of sodium ion into the structure of the acid alpha-zirconium phosphate and how that intercalation affects the size of the resultant crystal. After the acid was made, different equivalents of the base sodium hydroxide were titrated with eight samples of the acid. These eight samples, along with a sample of the pure acid, were then diffracted in order to calculate theta values, d values, Miller plane values, and ultimately determine changes in interplanar spacing. Material 1, the pure control sample, exhibited a c crystal edge length of 14.5052 angstroms. The final titrated sample, Sample 8 was found to have a c crystal edge length of 20.6025 angstroms. Thus, as more sodium hydroxide was added to the acid, the interplanar spacing increased by 29.6%. This research has applications in the electronics field, where ion-exchange crystals are used to protect microprocessors from overheating.

Lori Claybaugh and Michael Lemke. Department of Biology, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, IL 62794.

Even though it is known that predatory bacteria from the genus Bdellovibrio prey on other Gram-negative bacteria, their distribution in nature and affect on naturally occurring bacterial communities is not known. The objectives of this study were to determine the seasonal (spring) abundance of Bdellovibrio in six lake-associated habitats and to begin to develop a methodology to understand predator-prey dynamics. Samples (n=3) were collected (March-April 2001) from the Lake Springfield catchment, and included three water (surface, 1 m below surface, directly above sediment) and three soil/sediment (benthic, shoreline, bank) habitats. Samples (25 g soil; 25 ml water) were added to PBS (1:6) and placed on a shaker (300 rpm; 1hr) to dislodge and mix bacteria. After a series of filtration steps (3.0 m, 1.2 m, .45m) on the sub samples, equal volumes of filtrate were combined with Escherichia coli (i.e., prey cells) and top agar, and poured over nutrient agar for plaque assay analysis (incubation 30o C; 48 hr). Bdellovibrio presence was confirmed by direct microscopic observation. Number of Bdellovibrio in water habitats were 80 per ml (1 m below surface) > 53 per ml (surface) > 50 per ml (directly above sediment) and 103 per g (shore) > 87 per g (bank) > 20 per g (benthic) in the soil habitats. An average positive correlation (0.49) was seen between the abundance and temperature (air, soil, water). Bdellovibrio shows a definite seasonal response. To determine the impact of Bdellovibrio predation on bacteria, isolates will be inoculated into either Gram-negative cultures or natural lake water samples, sampled in timed increments, and “prey” cells enumerated (CFU and whole-cell staining). This study demonstrates that there is a remarkable number of these predacious bacteria in aquatic samples, they may likely control bacteria numbers in the natural microbial community, and a trophic hierarchy exists within the prokaryotes

Jennifer Hubbell Thomas*, Astronomy and Physics, and Individual Option Programs, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794
On the basis of spectroscopic data obtained at the Henry R. Barber

Observatory of the University of Illinois Springfield, I will provide line identifications in the wavelength region between 3500-5000 Angstroms from the spectra of the following four spectral class B emission stars: 88 Herculis, 4 Herculis, 66 Ophiucus, and Beta Lyrae. The spectra of the four stars change over time; previously unidentified lines will also be identified. Class B emission stars, or Be stars, are stars that have shown emission features in their Balmer lines at least once. The problem being addressed is the documentation of the change in the emission and absorption features in the spectra, together with the identification of additional emission and absorption lines. The spectra were obtained using a 20-inch reflecting telescope with a spectrograph and a CCD imaging unit. The analytical package was MIRA with a LOTUS spreadsheet to analyze the lines. A comparison spectrum was taken using the known wavelengths of mercury as a reference. Preliminary results for 4 Herculis show that the emission features of the Balmer series have changed compared to the spectra supplied by the Be Star Atlas (June 2001). Hydrogen beta is in absorption, together with hydrogen gamma. Hydrogen delta is in absorption too, but with an interesting feature. There is a central quasi-emission bump at the bottom of the absorption trough. These preliminary results show that changes do occur in Be stars. A brief discussion of the physical basis of these spectral line changes will also be presented.

Chris R. Blattel and David G. Jenkins. Biology Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794.

This study evaluates water chemistry of temporary wetlands that may harbor the Illinois Chorus Frog and other amphibians. The Illinois Chorus Frog is threatened in the state, hence the interest in its habitat. Several temporary wetland sites have been monitored since March 9th, 2001 for water chemistry and invertebrates, which could supply the food source for amphibians and might indicate amphibian habitat quality. I will be attempting to correlate water chemistry trends with amphibian reproductive success. This semester I am sampling the sites for depth, temperature, pH, alkalinity, hardness, and dissolved oxygen. To date, wetlands with greater hardness and conductivity appear to be correlated with amphibian presence. Samples will also be acidified and backlogged for total nitrogen, particulate nitrogen, and total phosphorus analysis this summer. These data will be compared later with the numbers and diversity of invertebrates and amphibians identified at the wetland sites. The analysis will hopefully allow a better system of wetland delineation for the Illinois Department of Transportation.


Denise Liesen1, Edward Moticka2, and Nada Chang1. (1) Biology Department, University of Illinois Springfield, and (2) Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Illinois, 62794.

Signaling requirements of naïve and memory T cells are not well understood. Distinct isoforms of CD45 receptors expressed on surfaces of T cells help in recognition of the activating signals. The aim of this study was to determine signaling requirements for memory (CD45-) and naive (CD4+) T cells. These two T cell subtypes were isolated from rat spleen, stimulated with the activating soluble signals, CD28, IL-2 and anti-CD3, alone or in combination, and studied at different time intervals following stimulation. Proliferation and transformation of activated T cells into TH1 or TH2 cells, was assessed with the help of flow cytometric double-labeling analysis. The ability of these cells to produce cytokines IL-10 and IFN-¡ was also studied. The addition of the activating signals stimulated memory but not naïve T cells to change into active CD45+ T cells. Longer exposure to signals (72 and 96 hr) generally induced more proliferation and cytokine production than a 24 hr exposure. Memory CD45- cells transformed earlier into TH1 cells (42 hr) than into TH2 cells (72 hr). The triple combination of activating signals induced the highest proliferation response and cytokine secretion. The activating signals had greater effect on the production of IFN-¡ than IL-10. To understand how to suppress the undesirable immune responses, rejection of tissue grafts and allergic reactions, it is important to further characterize the effects of activating signals on T cells.

Kathryn Dinardo and Nada Chang. Department of Biology, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794-9243

Little is known about the biology of the Bt corn, a genetically engineered crop that produces Bacillus thuringiensis toxin. Inhalation of toxin-containing spores of this bacterium causes immune distress in humans. In light of the potential health risks of the exposure to pollen and perhaps other components of the Bt corn, it is important to begin to define the biological characteristics of this crop. With this in mind, the present study used scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy in conjunction with the Scion imaging system, to examine the structural differences between Bt and non-Bt corn leaves and pollen. SEM observations indicate that the fine structure of trichomes on both leaf surfaces in the two types of corn is similar. In contrast, light microscopic analysis of leaf prints revealed notable differences in trichome number, distribution and size. In general, Bt corn leaves exhibit morphological characteristics similar to those seen in leaves of plants with natural, insect resistant properties. When viewed by SEM, pollen grains appeared similar in the two types of corn, while light microscopic measurements showed that Bt pollen granules are smaller. Our observations suggest that the incorporation of a fragment of the bacterial genome into corn plants produces multiple morphologic effects. It would be important to determine whether these Bt corn characteristics relate to its potential toxicity and allergenicity.

Lisa McCauley and David Jenkins, Biology Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794.

Before European settlement 23 % of Illinois (8 million acres) was covered in wetland. Currently, only 3.5% of original wetlands (1.25 million acres) exist in Illinois. This is a loss of an estimated 90% of the state’s wetlands. Champaign County was one of the most extensively drained counties in the State, having anywhere from 40 – 61% of its area covered in wetlands in pre-settlement times and now only 0.9% of its area is covered by wetlands, a loss of 39 – 60% of original county area, or 98% of the wetlands. Since there are no major river valleys flowing through Champaign County these were most likely temporary wetlands. This project will use GIS, Geographic Information System, mapping techniques to determine the spatial extent, density, pattern, and sizes of (a) temporary wetlands lost to draining in Champaign County in Illinois since settlement times and (b) temporary wetlands that still exist. GIS is a computer based system to input, store, manipulate, analyze, and output large amounts of spatially referenced data. Maps will be created that will show how Champaign County would have looked before European settlement and what it looks like now. This mapping will be followed by a field study of soil samples from a few select areas that can be identified as being former wetlands. These soil samples will then be incubated and placed in a greenhouse to see if any egg banks still exist after years of agricultural land use.

Patrick High and Nada Chang. Department of Biology, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 62794-9243

A comparative approach to the study of the reproductive organs is the key to understanding the functional significance of the anatomical differences present in phylogenetically diverse vertebrate groups. In cold-blooded vertebrates, both sperm maturation and storage occur in the testis, while warm-blooded vertebrates evolved a new organ, the epididymis, to store mature spermatozoa. To examine the morphologic correlates of these differences, the present study compares the morphology of the spermatozoa in the reproductive organs of the hamster and two frog species, Rana pippiens and Xenopus laevis. We further compare sperm image resolution obtained by two ultrastructural techniques: scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy. We observed that TEM, in conjunction with image enhancement by negative staining, provided detail of the sub-membrane cytoskeletal structures that could not be resolved by SEM. In harmony with the specialized storage function of the epididymis, cytosol shedding (a sign of sperm maturation) evident in the testis of the frog species was not seen in hamster epididymis. Most importantly, while cell bodies in two frog species exhibited marked similarities in overall morphology and size, they were significantly smaller and differently shaped in the hamster. We believe that these differences reflect anatomical sperm adaptations to swimming in media of different composition and viscosities: the fluid of the Fallopian tube in the warm-blooded hamster vs. the aquatic medium in the frog, a cold-blooded vertebrate characterized by the external fertilization.

Professor of Biology

Ann M. Larson obtained her BA in Biology (with minors in chemistry and education) from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minnesota. She spent the next five years teaching biology and chemistry at the junior high and high school levels in Minnesota, followed by a one-year stint at the United States Armed Service Schools at Hahn Air Force Base, Germany. During this time, with the help of a National Science Foundation Summer Institute Program grant, Ann completed her MS in General Science at the University of Syracuse, Syracuse, NY. She then taught biology at the Oregon College of Education in Monmouth, OR before obtaining her Ph.D. in Botany from Oregon State University in 1969. Her topics of specialization were in developmental plant anatomy, cell biology, and physiology. Ann moved back to the Midwest, taking up a position as Assistant Professor of Biology at Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL.
In 1973, Ann moved to Springfield to accept a position as Associate Professor of Biology, at what was then known as Sangamon State University (SSU). Ann was promoted to Full Professor in 1990, becoming one of only a handful of women to obtain this academic rank at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS). Over the past 28 years Ann has been the heart and soul of the Biology Program at UIS. Beginning with the development and implementation of a standardized curriculum of biology core classes, Ann has poured her seemingly limitless energy into a variety of progressive changes in how biology and science are taught at UIS. Ann served as Convener/Chairperson of the Biology Program for 16 years (1984-2000), Coordinator of Science and Mathematics for six years (1991-1997), and Head of the Science Division, as well as its fiscal officer, for three years (1997-2000).
During this time Ann has been an advisor, mentor, and inspiration to many undergraduate students, graduate students, and junior faculty members. Ann has maintained a strong connection with her discipline, which she maintains is a necessity for quality teaching at the university level. Ann’s primary research interests have changed over the years. In the early part of her career, she was primarily interested in developmental plant anatomy. But in the late 1970’s, Ann’s research interests changed, prompting her to apply for, and receive, a National Science Foundation Faculty Development Award, which she used to research plant morphogenesis with Dr. Ralph Mott at North Carolina State University from 1981-1982.
In addition to her interests in botanical research, Ann has had a strong interest in the assessment and development of learning skills in biology. She was a leading participant in the Assessment Task Force
Committee during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s that was charged with developing feasible and effective methods for learning assessment at UIS, a task which according to Ann is still ongoing. To assess the skills of incoming biology students and to provide them with information on scientific writing and presentations, Ann developed and initiated a new course called General Seminar. Ann has also combined her research interests in botany and education to develop an innovative series of open-ended exercises for juniors in her organismal botany class that culminates in a group poster presentation.
Not surprisingly, Ann is a six-time winner of the SSU Extra Merit Teaching Award. To encourage and emphasize the importance of undergraduate research at UIS, Ann was instrumental in the development of the Biology Program’s fledgling Honors program. Always thinking of the future, Ann was a member of the Health Sciences Building planning committee (1988-1989) and a founding member, as well as ardent promoter, of the Capital Scholars Planning Committee in 1992, a committee on which she still serves.
Ann has been active in a number of professional societies, chief and foremost being the Association of Midwestern College Biology Teachers (AMCBT, now called ACUBE). Ann was elected President of AMCBT (1988-1989) and has served on its executive committee for a number of years. In recognition of her many contributions to this society, Ann was selected as the ACUBE 1998 Honorary Life Award Recipient.
Ann has variety of extracurricular interests in addition to her many academic and professional accomplishments. A long time member of the Missouri Botanical Garden Society, Ann has treated a number of students and faculty members with trips to its annual orchid show. Ann has varied interests in music, which include blues and jazz, Broadway musicals, and classical music. She has an eclectic appreciation of fine art, ranging from the classic to modern, and loves to sample all varieties of fine cuisines; many consider Ann a local expert on restaurants worth eating at in Springfield and St. Louis. While on the subject of food Ann is known far and wide for preparing scrumptious (some say almost divine) desserts based largely on chocolate. She closely follows professional basketball and has recently developed a love of computer games, especially those she plays with her nephews and nieces. Ann is also a well-known technophile, loves electronic gadgets, and has an interest in webpage design.
All of us in the sciences at UIS would like to thank Ann Larson for all the help, guidance, and friendship she has shared with us over her career. The best of luck to you Ann as you begin the next stage in your career…we will all miss you greatly!



Organizer – Nada Chang

Student Awards – Compliments of Dr. Ann Larson

Sponsors and Facilitators – Biology Department

Chemistry Department

THE Biology Club

Thank You