Presenter Information

Sydney BrownFollow

Major

Biology

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Kalina Manoylov

Keywords

ecology, culturing, monoculture, diatoms, population

Abstract

Algae serve as the base trophic level of aquatic systems, energetically supporting entire aquatic communities. Culturing in a laboratory setting requires significant phycological background and ecological knowledge to mimic their natural environmental conditions. The purpose of this research was to explore the effects of time on the growth of algal cultures. Gomphonema parvulum was the species investigated, falling into a class of algae known as diatoms- which are defined by cell walls composed of silica. Due to this unique morphological feature, asexual reproduction results in a diminution of cell size each generation in which restoration of natural sizes is initiated through the formation of an auxospore via sexual reproduction. G. parvulum was isolated from a community sampled from Upper Three Runs Creek, Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina. Five different monocultures were inoculated in a modified agar medium with Bolds medium as their nutrient source (Sigma Aldrich). Differing growth periods were provided for each. Populations were digested according to standard protocol after establishment, and two permanent slides were created per monoculture. Using a light microscope, 100 units were measured per population. Data from one population was not used due to low density. Overall, the monocultures were significantly smaller than their wild-type counterparts(chi-squared (df 3)= 10.8, p

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Time Specific Population Dynamics of Diatoms in Artificial Environments

Algae serve as the base trophic level of aquatic systems, energetically supporting entire aquatic communities. Culturing in a laboratory setting requires significant phycological background and ecological knowledge to mimic their natural environmental conditions. The purpose of this research was to explore the effects of time on the growth of algal cultures. Gomphonema parvulum was the species investigated, falling into a class of algae known as diatoms- which are defined by cell walls composed of silica. Due to this unique morphological feature, asexual reproduction results in a diminution of cell size each generation in which restoration of natural sizes is initiated through the formation of an auxospore via sexual reproduction. G. parvulum was isolated from a community sampled from Upper Three Runs Creek, Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina. Five different monocultures were inoculated in a modified agar medium with Bolds medium as their nutrient source (Sigma Aldrich). Differing growth periods were provided for each. Populations were digested according to standard protocol after establishment, and two permanent slides were created per monoculture. Using a light microscope, 100 units were measured per population. Data from one population was not used due to low density. Overall, the monocultures were significantly smaller than their wild-type counterparts(chi-squared (df 3)= 10.8, p

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