User:Nicole Bonan/Notebook/Biology 210 at AU

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Sources of error existed in this experiment. One source of error was that the transect was only observed at one point on one day rather than multiple times over a longer period of time. Thus, observations about the transect only reflected that one point in time, so some outliers may have existed in the observations (for example, there may not normally be a bird in the transect, but as there was a bird in the transect at the time of observation, the bird was noted as one of the biotic factors). A way to overcome this error would have been to observe the transect multiple times over a longer period of time. Another source of error was that not every abiotic and biotic component was noted. A way to fix this source of error would have been to spend more time observing the transect and precisely identifying everything in it. A final source of error was that a soil sample was taken in only one small area of the transect, so it may not have accurately represented the majority of the soil and microorganisms in the transect. A way to overcome this error would have been to have taken multiple soil samples in the transect and compared them.

Revision as of 21:39, 6 July 2014

Contents

Lab 2: Identifying Algae and Protists

Nicole Bonan

TA: Alyssa Pedersen

Lab Section: D01

July 2, 2014

Introduction

The purpose of this experiment was to use a dichotomous key and a microscope in order to identify four organisms in the Hay infusion culture created in the previous lab. A serial dilution was then carried out in order to create samples of the culture that would be incubated in separate petri dishes of agar and tetracycline. It was hypothesized that if organisms existed near the top of the Hay infusion culture, then they would be able to photosynthesize, and that if organisms existed near the bottom of the culture, then they would be protists. In the following report, the methods used, results, data, and interpretation of the results of the experiment will be discussed.

Materials and Methods

First, a sample of the Hay infusion culture was taken from near the top of the culture using a disposable pipette. A wet mount was created using a drop of the culture sample, a drop of Protoslo, a cover slip, and a slide. The slide was placed under a microscope, and two organisms in the sample were observed and identified using a dichotomous key. The same procedure was then carried out using a drop of the Hay infusion culture taken from near the bottom of the culture.


Next, serial dilutions of the culture were made after swirling the Hay infusion culture to mix up all of the organisms in the culture. The first serial dilution was 10^(-2), which was created by adding 100µL of the Hay infusion culture to a test tube containing 100mL sterile broth. The next serial dilution was 10^(-4), which was created by pipetting 100µL of the 10^(-2) dilution into a separate test tube of 100mL of sterile broth. The third serial dilution was 10^(-6), which was created by pipetting 100µL of the 10^(-4) dilution to a separate test tube containing 100mL of sterile broth. The final dilution was created by pipetting 100µL of the 10^(-6) dilution into a separate test tube containing 100mL of sterile broth. A 100µL micropipette was used for all of the pipetting in the serial dilutions. A diagram of the serial dilutions is shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Diagram of Serial Dilutions of Hay Infusion Culture

The above image is a diagram of how the serial dilutions of the Hay infusion culture were prepared. 100µL of the culture was added to 100mL sterile broth in the first test tube. Then, as the first arrow in the diagram shows, 100µL of this solution was added to 100mL sterile broth in the next test tube. This process continued until the final dilution. The serial dilutions prepared were 10^(-2), 10^(-4), 10^(-6), and 10^(-8), in that order.
The above image is a diagram of how the serial dilutions of the Hay infusion culture were prepared. 100µL of the culture was added to 100mL sterile broth in the first test tube. Then, as the first arrow in the diagram shows, 100µL of this solution was added to 100mL sterile broth in the next test tube. This process continued until the final dilution. The serial dilutions prepared were 10^(-2), 10^(-4), 10^(-6), and 10^(-8), in that order.


The serial dilutions were then plated onto agar plates. 100µL of each serial dilution were pipetted, using a 100µL micropipette, onto separate agar plates and spread across the agar using a sterile glass rod. Then, separate 100µL samples of each dilution were pipetted onto separate agar plates that contained tetracycline and were spread across the agar using a sterile glass rod. All of the plates were covered, labeled with the initials of the lab members, and set on a windowsill to incubate at room temperature until the next lab. The tetracycline plates were also labeled with a "T".

Results

After having incubated since the previous lab, the Hay infusion culture appeared to be about the same opaqueness as lemonade. There was sediment and plant matter at the bottom of the liquid, while the top of the liquid seemed relatively free of this type of matter. The liquid was a light brown color, and the matter at the bottom was very dark brown. The culture had an odor of algae and mildew.


Two organisms were identified from the top of the culture and from the bottom of the culture for a total of four identified organisms. The two organisms identified from the top of the culture were paramecium and amoeba. The paramecium was colorless and was the shape of an elongated oval. It had two vacuoles, a micro and macronucleus, and also had cilia surrounding its outer covering. The paramecium was 50µm long and was a protist. The amoeba had an irregular shape and was mostly colorless, except for the brown-green coloring that surrounded most of its numerous organelles. The amoeba also had a contractile vacuole that was constantly expelling water from the organism. The amoeba was 25µm in length and was a protist. The two organisms that were identified near the bottom of the culture in the sediment and plant matter were chlamydomonas and colpidium. Two chlamydomonas were observed in the same area; both were unicellular, colorless, and roughly cube-shaped. Both also had one pair of flagella, which were used to propel the organism in circular motions. The chlamydomonas were about 50µm in diameter each and were prokaryotes in the Domain Bacteria. Two colpidium were also observed near each other. Both were unicellular, colorless, and oval-shaped. Each organism was motile and had about six organelles. One colpidium was more motile than the other colpidium; this more motile organism tended to bounce around the other organism. At one point, the more motile colpidium seemed to engulf and then regurgitate the other. Both organisms were about 20µm in length and were protists.

Tables and Graphs

Figure 2: Image of Hay Infusion Culture

The above image is of the Hay infusion culture as it appeared just before samples of the culture were taken for observation. The top of the culture is lighter in color than the bottom; most of the plant matter and sediments are in the bottom of the culture. The culture is opaque, and only allows limited amounts of light to filter through the liquid.
The above image is of the Hay infusion culture as it appeared just before samples of the culture were taken for observation. The top of the culture is lighter in color than the bottom; most of the plant matter and sediments are in the bottom of the culture. The culture is opaque, and only allows limited amounts of light to filter through the liquid.


Table 1: Characteristics of Identified Organisms in Hay Infusion Culture

The above table shows information about each of the four organisms that were identified in the Hay infusion culture using a dichotomous key. The four organisms identified were paramecium, amoeba, chlamydomonas, and colpidium.
The above table shows information about each of the four organisms that were identified in the Hay infusion culture using a dichotomous key. The four organisms identified were paramecium, amoeba, chlamydomonas, and colpidium.


Figure 3: Illustration of Paramecium

The above image is an illustration of the paramecium observed in the Hay infusion culture. The paramecium was observed near the top of the culture. The organism was colorless and had a somewhat "fuzzy" outer covering, which was due to its cilia. Its micronucleus and micronucleus are shown as circles inside of the organism. The background coloring is the liquid from the Hay infusion culture.
The above image is an illustration of the paramecium observed in the Hay infusion culture. The paramecium was observed near the top of the culture. The organism was colorless and had a somewhat "fuzzy" outer covering, which was due to its cilia. Its micronucleus and micronucleus are shown as circles inside of the organism. The background coloring is the liquid from the Hay infusion culture.


Figure 4: Illustration of Amoeba

The above image is an illustration of the amoeba observed in the Hay infusion culture. The amoeba was observed near the top of the culture. The organism was mostly colorless, though some of its organelles, which are represented in the illustration as circles, were outlined in a brown-green color. On the top left side of the amoeba was a contractile vacuole, which was constantly expelling water from the organism. The background coloring is the liquid from the Hay infusion culture.
The above image is an illustration of the amoeba observed in the Hay infusion culture. The amoeba was observed near the top of the culture. The organism was mostly colorless, though some of its organelles, which are represented in the illustration as circles, were outlined in a brown-green color. On the top left side of the amoeba was a contractile vacuole, which was constantly expelling water from the organism. The background coloring is the liquid from the Hay infusion culture.


Figure 5: Illustration of Two Chlamydomonas

The above image is an illustration of the two chlamydomonas observed in the Hay infusion culture. The chlamydomonas were observed near the bottom of the culture in the sediment and plant matter. The organisms were colorless and unicellular. Each chlamydomonas had two flagella, which they were using to propel themselves in circular motions around each other.  The background coloring is the liquid from the Hay infusion culture.
The above image is an illustration of the two chlamydomonas observed in the Hay infusion culture. The chlamydomonas were observed near the bottom of the culture in the sediment and plant matter. The organisms were colorless and unicellular. Each chlamydomonas had two flagella, which they were using to propel themselves in circular motions around each other. The background coloring is the liquid from the Hay infusion culture.


Figure 6: Illustration of Two Colpidium

The above image is an illustration of the two colpidium observed in the Hay infusion culture. The colpidium were observed near the bottom of the culture in the sediment and plant matter. The organisms were colorless and unicellular. Each organism had about six organelles, and both were motile. The background coloring is the liquid from the Hay infusion culture.
The above image is an illustration of the two colpidium observed in the Hay infusion culture. The colpidium were observed near the bottom of the culture in the sediment and plant matter. The organisms were colorless and unicellular. Each organism had about six organelles, and both were motile. The background coloring is the liquid from the Hay infusion culture.

Discussion

Summary of BG info


The purpose of this experiment was to identify four organisms that existed in the Hay infusion culture prepared from the soil in Transect 5 at American University. The two organisms identified from the top of the culture were paramecium and amoeba; the two organisms identified from the bottom of the culture were chlamydomonas and colpidium. The hypothesis of the experiment was that if organisms existed near the top of the culture, then they would be able to photosynthesize, and if organisms existed near the bottom of the culture, then they would be protists. This hypothesis was made because it was believed that organisms near the top of the culture would have more access to light, while those at the bottom of the culture would have limited access to light and would thus have to create nutrients. However, the data from the experiment did not support this hypothesis. Both organisms that were taken from the top of the culture and also the colpidium did not photosynthesize; in fact, they were protists. The chlamydomonas, taken from the bottom of the culture, could photosynthesize. One possible explanation for why the data did not support the hypothesis is that the Hay infusion culture did not incubate long enough for a clear division between photosynthesizing organisms and protists to develop. Another possible explanation is that because there was so much plant matter in the culture, most organisms could just get nutrients from the plant matter instead of photosynthesizing.


Of course, there were sources of error in this experiment. One source of error was that the Hay infusion culture was moved across the lab in order for samples of it to be taken; during its transportation, some of the plant matter and organisms may have gotten mixed up in the culture, causing some organisms that would normally only exist at the bottom of the culture to be near the top of the culture and vice-versa. A way that this error could have been prevented would have been to take samples from the culture without moving the culture from the place where it had been incubating. Another source of error was lack of experience among lab members in identifying microorganisms. While lab members were diligent in determining the identity of organisms, the lab members may have misidentified certain organisms. This error could have been minimized by consulting with other, more experienced lab members in order to confirm the identity of the observed organisms. A final source of error was that

References

Lab 1: Biological Life at AU

Nicole Bonan

TA: Alyssa Pedersen

Lab Section: D01

June 30, 2014

Introduction

Natural selection is a major factor that causes evolution. The evolution of a species can create biodiversity, as a species can evolve different characteristics, splitting one species into two. Eventually, as natural selection continues, an entire ecosystem can be formed. An ecosystem consists of all of the abiotic and biotic factors in a certain area. Each organism has a niche, or a certain set of environmental requirements, within the ecosystem. An ecosystem can be divided into transects, which are just smaller areas of a larger ecosystem.


The objective of this lab was to observe the characteristics of a niche in a transect of the American University ecosystem and to create a Hay infusion culture from the soil in the transect. In the following report, the methods, results, data, and interpretation of the results of the experiment will be discussed.

Materials and Methods

First, a transect of about 20m x 20m at American University was observed. The area was noted as "Transect 5". Pictures of the transect were taken and notes about the abiotic and biotic components of the transect were written. Next, a sample of the soil was taken in a conical tube. 10g of this soil sample were then added to 0.1g dried milk and 500mL Deer Park water in a plastic jar in order to make a Hay infusion culture. The jar was labeled as "Transect 5 TJ NB".

Results

The area that was observed, Transect 5, was a garden near the entrance to AU's campus. The transect was surrounded by paved sidewalks and was situated in a gully between two roads and a dorm building. The transect was hilly and had many biotic and abiotic components, most of which were landscaped and not naturally-occurring. Most of the biotic components were plants, and most of the abiotic components were stones.

Tables and Graphs

Table 1: Biotic and Abiotic Components of Transect 5

Biotic ComponentsAbiotic Components
BirdsRocks and Stones
GnatsClay, mud, and mulch
BeesBenches
FernsStone pathway
Spots of MossesDrainage ditch
Liriope 
Trees 
Junipers 
Ants 
Clovers 
Plants

The above table includes all of the biotic and abiotic components of Transect 5 that were recorded. The biotic factors are listed on the left and the abiotic factors are listed on the right.


Figure 1: Aerial View of Transect 5

The above figure shows an aerial view of Transect 5. Transect 5 is surrounded by sidewalks, which are colored in yellow. The bushes and trees appear as green circles, the stones appear as grey circles, and the benches appear as brown rectangles. The grey area surrounding the sidewalks are roadways, and the brown structure to the bottom left of the transect is a dorm building. Light green areas represent grass; light brown areas represent mulch and soil.
The above figure shows an aerial view of Transect 5. Transect 5 is surrounded by sidewalks, which are colored in yellow. The bushes and trees appear as green circles, the stones appear as grey circles, and the benches appear as brown rectangles. The grey area surrounding the sidewalks are roadways, and the brown structure to the bottom left of the transect is a dorm building. Light green areas represent grass; light brown areas represent mulch and soil.

Figure 2: Transect 5, Image 1

The image above is of Transect 5. The image shows part of the drainage ditch, made of stones, and a mulched area to the right that includes different types of plants. A path with patches of moss winds through the center of the image, stopping at the stones.
The image above is of Transect 5. The image shows part of the drainage ditch, made of stones, and a mulched area to the right that includes different types of plants. A path with patches of moss winds through the center of the image, stopping at the stones.

Figure 3: Transect 5, Image 2

The image above is of Transect 5, and the image was taken to the left of Figure 2. The image above shows the continuation of the mulched area from Figure 2, which includes a tree surrounded by ferns and other plants. The image also shows a second drainage path for runoff. A paved sidewalk, shown in the back of the image, surrounds most of the transect.
The image above is of Transect 5, and the image was taken to the left of Figure 2. The image above shows the continuation of the mulched area from Figure 2, which includes a tree surrounded by ferns and other plants. The image also shows a second drainage path for runoff. A paved sidewalk, shown in the back of the image, surrounds most of the transect.

Figure 4: Transect 5, Image 3

The image above is of Transect 5. This image was taken 180 degrees from Figure 3. It shows the path, continued from Figure 2, which dead-ends into the bench. A large bush is situated next to the bench, and behind the bench are grasses and a sign describing the garden. Behind the grasses is a mulched area with junipers, which eventually meets a sidewalk on the edge of the transect.
The image above is of Transect 5. This image was taken 180 degrees from Figure 3. It shows the path, continued from Figure 2, which dead-ends into the bench. A large bush is situated next to the bench, and behind the bench are grasses and a sign describing the garden. Behind the grasses is a mulched area with junipers, which eventually meets a sidewalk on the edge of the transect.

Figure 5: Transect 5, Image 4

The image above is of Transect 5. This image was taken to the left of Figure 2 and to the right of Figure 4. The image shows a second bench, which sits along the path that runs through the transect. Behind the bench are grasses and a tree, and behind those is the continuation of the mulched area from Figure 4, in which junipers are planted. The drainage ditch from Figure 2 is continued in this image; it consists of sones and runs through the lefthand side of the image.
The image above is of Transect 5. This image was taken to the left of Figure 2 and to the right of Figure 4. The image shows a second bench, which sits along the path that runs through the transect. Behind the bench are grasses and a tree, and behind those is the continuation of the mulched area from Figure 4, in which junipers are planted. The drainage ditch from Figure 2 is continued in this image; it consists of sones and runs through the lefthand side of the image.

Discussion

Summary of BG info.


The purpose of this experiment was to observe a transect (Transect 5) American University in order to learn about the types of biotic and abiotic factors in the transect, how they interact with each other, and how these interactions affect their niches. The result of this experiment was that many different abiotic and biotic components were observed in Transect 5 at American University. Most of the biotic components were plants, while most of the abiotic components were stones. The transect was landscaped and not naturally-occurring.


Sources of error existed in this experiment. One source of error was that the transect was only observed at one point on one day rather than multiple times over a longer period of time. Thus, observations about the transect only reflected that one point in time, so some outliers may have existed in the observations (for example, there may not normally be a bird in the transect, but as there was a bird in the transect at the time of observation, the bird was noted as one of the biotic factors). A way to overcome this error would have been to observe the transect multiple times over a longer period of time. Another source of error was that not every abiotic and biotic component was noted. A way to fix this source of error would have been to spend more time observing the transect and precisely identifying everything in it. A final source of error was that a soil sample was taken in only one small area of the transect, so it may not have accurately represented the majority of the soil and microorganisms in the transect. A way to overcome this error would have been to have taken multiple soil samples in the transect and compared them.


There were many implications of the data that was observed in Transect 5. One implication was that humans had shaped the land in order to suit their needs, and from there, an ecosystem was developed. For example, the drainage ditch that ran through the transect existed because humans needed a drainage system to conduct water away from roads during storms. The area around that drainage system was then landscaped in order to look appealing to humans. The landscaping included plants and trees, which helped to create an ecosystem for birds and insects in the area. Another implication of the data was that Transect 5 had very nutrient-rich soil in the areas where plants and trees were growing. These species were leafy and healthy, which indicated that they were getting the nutrients and water needed to sustain themselves. A final observation of this experiment was that the transect was very clean and organized, in that plants were planted in specific areas and there were few weeds that seemed to be growing randomly throughout the transect. The implication of this observation was that the niches of many species within the ecosystem was controlled by humans; humans decided where plants would be planted, and they worked to get rid of unwanted weeds.


The results of this experiment could be used by others to observe the difference between natural and artificially-created ecosystems.


This experiment applies to real world issues

References

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