Biology Forum Microbiology epiphytic algae

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    • #12460


      am an undergraduate student doing her final year project.

      i am just wondering if theres a stain i can use which can differentiate between plant cells, algal cells and fungal cells. if i m looking under an electron microscope.
      As part of my project, I am trying to identify epiphytic algae on mangrove trees. what i did was i tried scraping the bark of the mangrove trees and then trying to see what i can get from the scrapings. How do i identify the algal cells from the mess of things i see under the microscope? What exactly do i look out for?

      I think this could be quite basic but i really am new atthis and I have been searching the net and papers and have not gotten much substantial answers. Hope its different this time (:

      Thanks so much!

    • #95971

      hmmm I don’t know of any off the top of my head.

      There might be certain stains that bind specifically to lignin which will help you differentiate plant cell from the fungus and most of algae.

      O wait, here is your lucky day I just found some info

      If you have an idea of what organism you are going to come across in these scrapings you could try separating based by size (i.e. sieve out organisms based on size.

      If you do this it will probably be easier to see the individual organisms.

      Also when are you observing your sample under the microscope are you heat fixing?

      Or are you using a convex slide which enables the organisms in your sample to float around?

      You could just try using a smaller sample and diluting it with water, this will allow more light to shine through the sample which will enable you to get a better glimpse of what the heck is in your sample.

      O also another thing, if you want to differentiate from fungal cells from everything else try to find a stain that stains Chitin…you can look this one up.

      Ok I must go study now. Let me know if you encounter more problems.

    • #96002

      hey Darwin420 (:

      thanks for your time and your help. I looked up that website, I was hoping more to differentiate algal cells from plant cells and fungal cells. Any stains you know of that will stain for these algal cells?

      shouldnt be heat fixing, i think i am just observing them under the concave slides. I am expecting to see microalgae on the bark scrapings. but the problem comes because i am not sure if what i am seeing are algae cells. I tried methylene blue, supposed to stain for cellulose, but both plant cells and algal cell wall contain cellulose, so how do i differentiate them?

      i read up a bit, apparently algal cell walls contain glycoproteins polysaccharides which are largely absent in plant cell walls. is that true?

      hope studying went well (:


    • #96045

      Hmm I am not sure….but your best bet is to just look of the differences of these different cell types (algae, fungi) and see if there are any stains that stain for these particular molecules.

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