User:Mark Skaggs/Notebook/Lab Two: Identifying Algae and Protists

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July 3, 2014


To identify and understand algae and protists collected at transect from Lab One by using a dichotomous key.


1. Pipette samples from two different areas of prepared hay infusion (near top of infusion tub and near bottom).

2. Prepare slides from these two infusion areas and investigate microscopic life.

3. Identify and sketch specimen under microscopy.

4. Set up series of four dilutions within test tubes using 10mL of sterile broth and 100 microliters(µm) as seen in the diagram below.

5. Continue with the dilution to two agar petri dishes, one with tetracycline and one without.

Observations, Results, and Conclusion:

Due to the dried milk within the hay infusion, the infusion remains cloudy. There are no signs of significant life on or near the surface of the water. Specimen observed under microscope from the water near the surface are paramecium aurelia, volvox, and gonium. Specimen from deeper within the hay infusion include paramecium and didinium. (See drawings below).

Specimen Average Size Image

Paramecium aurelia 120-180 µm

Volvox 350-500 µm

Gonium 90 µm

Didinium 80-200 µm

Paramecium meets all five requirements of life. It is a unicellular organism that passes down its genes through conjugation and binary fission, its forms of sexual and asexual reproduction. Furthermore, it evolves to survive within multiple environments, including soil in most climates and water tables.


If the hay infusion culture were allowed to continue in optimal conditions, bacteria and other microorganisms would more than likely continue to populate until resource availability became an issue.