Curves, Sea Water, Sterilization

This week I have been attempting to analyze the growth of one of my species of microalgae. I will make a calibration curve using transmittance (the amount of light that passes through 200 ul of culture) cell counts (exactly what it sounds like very tedious), and dry weight (the mass of the algae after dryer in an oven). After the three reading are graphed and correlated you can interpolate the number of algae cells in a culture from a reference graph called a calibration curve.

The trouble with working with live algae is that they don’t always grow on my time scale. My 2 liter sample was nice and green but is not dense enough to make a proper calibration curve yet.

Getting ready for dry weights putting into the oven to evaporate all the water.

I also put three trials of each dilution in a spectrophotometer and determined the amount of transmittance. The amount of light passing through will help me determine the cell density. The good news when I graphed it I had a very good fit. The bad news is my densest culture is not dense enough to complete a calibration curve for my species. So I wait for the algae to grow. I will not wait idly. There are tasks to do in the lab and prepare for tomorrow when I inoculate 6 1 liter bottles for my growth and nutrient experiment.

We sterilized all this filtered sea water in one batch. I am jealous of the ‘chipmunk’ sterilizer. It is huge!

One Response to “Curves, Sea Water, Sterilization”
  1. Dhara says:

    This reminds me of the chemistry research project I did this year! My group used a similar setup with the sintered funnels to filter our samples as well; however we used the pressure from the running water in the sink to act as a vacuum. We also placed our filtered samples in the spectrophotometer afterwards. I was wondering what wavelength you set the spectrophotometer to because we had trouble determining that in our own experiment (due to our samples varying in color and unclear instructions).

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