Lessons learned from implementing a wet laboratory molecular training workshop for beach water quality monitoring

Marc Paul Verhougstraete, Sydney Brothers, Wayne Litaker, A. Denene Blackwood, Rachel Noble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Rapid molecular testing methods are poised to replace many of the conventional, culturebased tests currently used in fields such as water quality and food science. Rapid qPCR methods have the benefit of being faster than conventional methods and provide a means to more accurately protect public health. However, many scientists and technicians in water and food quality microbiology laboratories have limited experience using these molecular tests. To ensure that practitioners can use and implement qPCR techniques successfully, we developed a week long workshop to provide hands-on training and exposure to rapid molecular methods for water quality management. This workshop trained academic professors, government employees, private industry representatives, and graduate students in rapid qPCR methods for monitoring recreational water quality. Attendees were immersed in these new methods with hands-on laboratory sessions, lectures, and one-on-one training. Upon completion, the attendees gained sufficient knowledge and practice to teach and share these new molecular techniques with colleagues at their respective laboratories. Key findings from this workshop demonstrated: 1) participants with no prior experience could be effectively trained to conduct highly repeatable qPCR analysis in one week; 2) participants with different desirable outcomes required exposure to a range of different platforms and sample processing approaches; and 3) the collaborative interaction amongst newly trained practitioners, workshop leaders, and members of the water quality community helped foster a cohesive cohort of individuals which can advocate powerful cohort for proper implementation of molecular methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0121214
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 30 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Lessons learned from implementing a wet laboratory molecular training workshop for beach water quality monitoring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this