Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mountain Lake Biological Station

Since we're out of the lab this week I thought I would share a bit of MLBS with you all. Mountain Lake Biological Station is a residential field station in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. This week I am collecting soil samples to send back to the lab for isolation of D. discoideum. 

Looking West from Bald Knob


Finding flags at our collection sites.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Summer Research Begins

The summer researchers are learning what to look for when isolating Dictyostelium discoideum from soil samples. Here we see some characteristics that are atypical for our species, D. discoideum, namely the branching of fruiting body structures and the slugs being held aloft on the stalks. 

We are also testing out some techniques to look at how efficiently the amoeba feed on bacteria. Here the students are measuring the rate that dicty (placed in the center) can clear the bacterial lines.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Armand Bayou Collection

Hi everyone,

Last week we had lab tours and might gain some interested researchers, Welcome!

While we didn't find specifically discoideum on the last collection trip to Armand Bayou, we did find TONS of other species. Almost every plate had something, so it seems like a promising site. We will likely return once it has dried out a bit. Take a look at this common species. It looks very similar to D. discoideum, but if you look at how the slugs migrate and how the fruiting bodies form, you can catch the subtle differences.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Armand Bayou Collection Trip Was a Success!!

Thank you to those of you that ventured out with us or even came in to help plating!

We were a little soggy after Friday's trip, but we were able to collect plenty of samples to bring back to the lab. We plan to finish up the plating this afternoon and then we will be checking the plates for dicty this week and freezing away anything we find. It usually takes 4-5 days for things to start showing up on the plates, so take a look at the calendar and leave a comment if you want to come by this week to help.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Soil collecting trip, this Friday March 10!

We will go on a soil collecting trip this Friday morning, meeting at Armand Bayou at 10 am.  We expect the collecting to be completed in an hour, so please allow 2 hours total (including drive time).

We will plate the samples out in the lab on Friday afternoon at 4 pm. Stop by SR2 Room 229 to participate.  The Dictyostelids (slugs and fruiting bodies) typically appear 4 days after plating, so feel free to stop by sometime on Tuesday to take a look at the results. We will post the hours on the blog.

Here is the location in Google Maps:,-95.074922,12z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x80b4f87798cf5312

It is approximately a 30 minute drive from campus.

Please leave a message here if you have any questions, and check back for further information. As always, please be sure to wear shoes suitable for walking and long-sleeves and pants to protect you from mosquitoes or poison ivy.

Please leave a note here if you are able to provide a ride to other students.

Let us know if you have any questions.  Otherwise, we'll see you there!