A Laboratory Class Exploring and Classifying Anoxygenic Phototrophic Bacteria Using Culture-Based Approaches, Microscopy, and Pigment Analysis

  • Authors: Sarah Boomer1, Kelly Shipley2
    Affiliations: 1: Natural Sciences and Math, Western Oregon University; 2: Western Oregon University
  • Citation: Sarah Boomer, Kelly Shipley. 2005. A laboratory class exploring and classifying anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria using culture-based approaches, microscopy, and pigment analysis.
  • Publication Date : November 2005
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In this exercise, students set up bottle enrichments for phototrophic microbes using river sediment and then, using representative controls, they view and describe wet mounts of representative oxygenic algae and cyanobacteria and anoxygenic purple bacteria. Following 2 to 3 weeks of incubation, students characterize pigmented enrichments using basic microscopy and pigment extraction and analysis, the latter of which requires a spectrophotometer. Using provided tables and their textbook, they classify enriched phototrophs using pigment absorption data, cell shape and organization, and growth conditions such as the presence or absence of sulfur.

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