Spring Fever has set in. With a teasingly warm high of 72 degrees F on March 20th, the weather then treated us to a typical spring, including rain, rain, rain and temperatures barely in the 40s, and rain.
Still, General Microbiology students are working to isolate and identify soil bacteria. Soil contains up to one billion bacterial cells per gram. Some of these bacteria (the Actinomycetes) produce volatile compounds that smell “like spring”; these compounds are released when you dig into soil. The bacteria were grown on Petri dishes where each type of bacteria can be seen to produce colonies with distinct morphologies. The students each chose an interesting bacterial colony for their project.
Left: Students taking careful notes about the morphologies of the various colonies. Right: Dakenson prepares to inoculate the colony of his choice, Stephanie is recording the colony morphology of her chosen colony in her notebook.
Left: Carissa observes colonies for elevation and surface characteristics. Right: Alexandra practicing the streak plate technique- she will need to be good at this for the isolation and identification experiments.
Left: Sarah and Kerri prepare to inoculate the colonies they have chosen. Right: Bees do it. Fleas do it. Even educational Actinomycetes do it ....... for Valentine's Day ..... hmmmm.
Here comes the sun ..... Yes, indeed, spring is in the air ........ soil.
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