Sunday, July 21, 2013

Anna Russell - Culturing Labyrinthula

Wow, I can't believe this internship is already half over. I have learned so many things in the past four weeks and I know many more experiences await in the next month. This week I learned how to culture and isolate diseases. When we visited Ship Harbor a few weeks ago, I picked some eelgrass shoots with lesions resembling eelgrass wasting disease. By taking tiny pieces of the shoots and putting them on petri dishes with SSA agar media, I was able to create an isolate of the disease. The UW Friday Harbor Labs also gave us two different isolates of eelgrass wasting disease which I have been culturing in both SSA agar and broth media.
I spent Wednesday making the SSA agar and broth media. This involved autoclaving supplies and seawater, then adding antibiotics and horse serum. The resulting mixture was poured into plates (for the agar plates) or left in the original bottle (broth). The next day, I transferred some of the isolates from Friday Harbor Labs to the broth. Labyrinthula spp. grows faster in broth solution but it is easier to see the growth in the agar plates so there are pros and cons to both types of media.
Here are some of the pictures from this week:
One of the UW isolates. The outlines show the growth each day. 

This one has grown a lot in three days.

This is one of the original isolates from the UW. The yellow is  the Labyrinthula spp. growing on top of each other.

These are pieces from infected shoots at Ship Harbor. At the bottom, there is contamination, making that plate unusable for culturing. 

These vials are of SSA broth and Labyrinthula spp.

Eelgrass that is going to be used in my experiment

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