A Blade of Grass (BIO60_2018)

Nature abounds at Stanford. Outside the Gilbert Biology Building, for instance, is a bush of grass strands. I was curious what the inside of grass looks like. After plucking a strand out of a bush, we sliced it thinly with a razor so that we could examine its insides.

The process of preparing the grass slide involves slicing the grass, peeling it from the parent strand, and taping it to the slide. We also tried to look at E.coli bacteria (see below image of spreading Agar onto a cover glass), but the bacteria were too small to be seen clearly, and a small flower bud, which was too thick and not transparent enough.

Lo and behold! After a few attempts, we were able to peer inside the grass. Here we can see the individual chloroplasts of the grass strand. These are visible because plant cells are larger than bacterial cells. I was surprised at the variety of green colors under the Foldscope, ranging from dark green to light green to yellow. The chloroplasts looked textured and rough, lining up closely next to each other in rectangular cell shapes to maximize the space available.

The image below is a view of an apical bud that was visible under the Foldscope. Here we can see cellular structures, perhaps vesicles, that are inside the bud. It appears that the bud is stained in different colors so that we can see the structures clearly. I wonder what the long, irregularly shaped green structure is.

In the future, I’d like to look at yeast bacteria under the Foldscope.

Special shout out to Eirini for her help!


One Comment Add yours

  1. mcyert says:

    Annie–these are great pictures and I love how you showed the sample preparation! keep up the folds coping!

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