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 ….
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.