Endosybionts in a tent.

I spent last night camping in the backyard with the kids.  As the slept next to me in the tent, with the rush of the freeway almost perfectly simulating a rushing river (except for the occasional motorcycle… giant Jurassic dragonflies??) the Chlorella Virus project became mentally 3 dimensional ….

I can’t rush in and assume that the virus selectivity for Chlorella hosts isn’t going to be a problem (see Van Etten’s reviews (such as here) or table 2 here). That could be a lot of wasted effort.

Perhaps better to work on isolating an endosymbiotic Chlorella from our pond directly, growing that in isolation and using it to screen for virus.  Most studies focus on isolating an algal-free host (old age or paraquat works too).. more practical: sonication method for isolation from Paramecium (here).

If you ever have access to a flow cytometer, studying the isolated Chlorella could be interesting (like here), but I can’t find anyone sucking Paramecia into the cytometer (seems like that would be an extremely interesting way to look at the endosymbiosis).

Apparently Paramecia will gobble up Carmine and that makes fro good light microscopy movies, although the vibration problem in room 3280 would need to be addressed.

Finally… here is a crazy idea: make walnut extract and culture Paramecia in it… do they eject their Chlorella?  Is jugalone-containing run off relevant in the pond?  Potential student ecology type project.

Next step: isolate Paramecium from the pond, get it growing as pure as you can, sonicate it.


About SubOptimist

I am an Associate Professor in the Science Department at Georgia Perimeter College, Clarkston. I teach introductory biology courses at both the majors and non-majors level in addition to microbiology. Previous to that I spent 7 years as a postdoctoral researcher on different viruses. While I don't miss being on the "grant treadmill", I think better when I write and miss writing up data for papers and grants; this blog helps me with that a little. And sometimes my kids' insanely funny and cute antics need to be shared with the world. Any view expressed in this blog is that of me personally and not Georgia Perimeter College or the GPC Clarkston Science Department.
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