Protists & Algae

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Description: Our Hay Culture Infusion was made from Transect 2 which was by the Amphitheater of the American University. It was made from a collection of dirt, soil, and the environment from our area. The Culture was made from our sample outside, with 500 milliliters of water, 0.1 grams of dried milk, and laid out to settle for approximately a week before observation. Upon observation of the culture we observed a rather dark pigment filled with mold and a large amount of protists and algae. This confirmed that life was apparent within the sample. Our culture contained a strong acrid smell, and appeared to be harmful and pathogenic to the eye.

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Materials & Methods: Our first niche was taken from the bottom of the Hayculture which contained mostly dirt and a few moving organisms apparent. After taking a went mount sample of that niche, we used a microscope to observe features that would allow us to classify the organisms and learn about its specialized characteristics. Niche #1 from the bottom of the hayculture proved to be a form of Algae, formally known as Chlamydomonas. Through use of our dichotomous key, after first observing that our sample was green, we followed the pattern and confirmed that it was a grass-green color, a free swimming algae with flagella, and that the cells were solitary and globular which led us to classify this Algae as Chlamydomonas. Next, we choose a sample from the middle of the culture which was labeled as niche #2. This sample also proved to be an Algae, formally known as Chlamydomonas as well. Containing the same size and appearance as sample 1 with a green pigment and solitary motile characteristics, we concluded this to be the same through the use of the key again. Lastly, we drew a sample from the top of our Hayculture which we labeled as niche #3. This sample turned out to be a Protist in contrast to the other two, formally known as Peranema. Following our key, we observed that it was colorless, exhibited a differing form of motion, contained no presence of cilia, was all single, motile cells in the sample, contained one observed locomotor flagella, and appeared very vibrantly when in motion. These characteristics led us to the conclusion that this Protist was Peranema specifically. To conclude these observations we made serial dilutions to plate organisms present in our cultures on nutrient agar and tetracyclin plates.

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Organisms Identified & Serial Dilution Pictures:




Conclusion: Upon observing under the microscope and use of the dichotomous keys, we included that our transect is indeed a rather diverse environment containing Algae and Protists based on our Hayculture sample. After taking samples from various niches (locations) of our Hayculture we concluded that it contained Chlamydomonas and Peranema. The morphological characteristics of these organisms allowed us to use the keys provided to come to these conclusions.