For some time now, I have been completely bowled over with lichen suspensions (1,2,3). You never know what surprise you’d get. I suppose, it would be so for mosses too. All I do is to drop a lichen scraping in a small petridish with about 5 ml of bottled water and follow it for days, weeks, and months. Now sometimes I might just forget about it entirely as in this petridish and lo and behold to my utter surprise I get a “pure culture” of a Bdelloid rotifer. This movie was taken after almost 5 months of starting the culture with intermittent re-addition of water to prevent drying out. Below is a 40x scan of the petridish under my compound microscope. Notice how the rotifers are thriving along with other ciliates and bacteria. I dont have to worry about growing rotifers anymore and I have plenty for making permanent slides and studying life-cycles (more on that in future posts).
And so last week, I started a new batch of about 3 petridishes from three different lichen scrapings. My next post will be on foldscope observations of these.
I am going to follow the plates regularly to study the progression of life. Along the way, I am going to culture some of these ciliates/rotifers/nematodes. Come join me in my hunt for life found in lichens, scrape a lichen, set it in RO/distilled/bottled water, get it going and share your observations.
This article and its reviews are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and redistribution in any medium, provided that the original author and source are credited.