Germinating pollen of Mahogony flower

Pollen germination was seen in several pollen of the mahogany flower that were released on teasing the anthers. The pollen were dusted on a slide, covered and observed using a foldscope attached to an iPhone. Long pollen tubes arising from the germ pores were closely observed.

Pollen of Mahogony flower under foldscope

Indian mahogany (also called Red cedar) is botanically known as Toona ciliata. It is a large deciduous tree belonging to family Meliaceae (Neem family). In Chandigarh these trees can be occasionally spotted. I had gone for my car repair, where I spotted this tree in full bloom near the car market. I collected the samples…

Foldscoping Eucalyptus flowers @ Kansal forest

Trekking through the Kansal forest, we came across large Eucalyptus trees that belong to family Myrtaceae of angiosperms. Off-white flowers fallen from the trees were picked up for study. The floral buds were vase-shaped and had a cap that sheds off as the flowers bloom. Petals not marked, but large number of stamens could be…

Planktons of Sabarmati river, Ahmedabad through foldscope

Sabarmati water was collected from the river front from different sites. One of the areas that had planktonic growth was strained through the mesh and sample fixed on a slide to view through the foldscope to find some mobility of planktons that is being shared with the community. Please help identify the organism……. Sample -1…

Foldscope Outreach Activity @ Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad

As I was walking across the various cottages and galleries at Gandhi Ashram, I came to a cottage- the Gift shop of the ashram with a corridor where some kids from under-privileged section of the society were making hand painted greeting cards, stickers, key chains and beaded necklaces. As I interacted with them, I came…

A Memorable Visit to Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad (Part-1)

Being in Ahmedabad, I planned to visit Sabarmati Ashram on 4th January, 2019, which was at a distance of about 36 kms from the place of my stay. I hired a cab and within 40 mins., I was at my destination. I pinched myself twice to make sure I was at a place where once…

Mycelium growth found on chapati dough

Mouldy growth was seen on stale chapatti dough left un-noticed. On viewing a sample drawn from the white cottony infected portion showed growth of thread-like structures under a foldscope. These are mycelium.   

Using Foldscope in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

It was a privilege to address about 110 NSS volunteers in a week-long training camp @GGDSD College, Chandigarh. The theme being ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, the interaction lasted 2 sessions. In the 1st session, the importance of cleanliness was stressed upon and the ways and means for the same were discussed. It was followed by introduction…

Foldscope sensitization at a farm in Punjab -2

In Punjab mainly two types of livestock production practices are seen. In one type, rural household animals are integrated with farming and the farmers feed animals using green fodder and crop residues, while in the second type large herds are kept in rangelands. It was a small farm owned by marginal farmer who had grown…

Foldscope sensitization at a farm in Punjab -1

As a part of the Foldscope oureach programme, a field visit to a farm was undertaken by Foldscope team@ GGDSD College. The team visited a farm house located in Jandiala near Amritsar in Punjab state. The farm was situated amidst vast fields with a barn for dairy animals. One deep breath and I could feel…

Fungus within an apple core

 On cutting an apple, i saw a fuzzy white fungus in the central core region of the apple. I took a sample and fixed it on a slide to look under a foldscope. It was a weft of fungal hyphae. I tried to locate the spores, but in vain. The entire apple other-wise had no…

Wild plants of Chandigarh – Specimen 1

Collection site – Sec-32 ,Chandigarh Habitat – Wild Habit – Climber Inflorescence – Dichasial to polychasial cymes Flower – Actinomorphic, polypetalous, 5 stamens, exerted, protruding out of flower, style, simple and  linear Fruit – Ellipsoidal Foldscope description – When the different parts were seen under a foldscope, trichomes were seen along the filaments and also…

Are these galls ?

  The root nodules isolated from smaller plants were clearly visible ( as shown in previous post). But some plants that were having thick and robust roots showed prolific growth. Are these galls or root knots ? I am unable to describe. On gentle teasing, followed by staining with methylene blue, I was able to…

Root nodules isolated from bean plant

The bean plants in my kitchen garden wilted out. So I uprooted them to give place to new plants. But as I took out the plants, I could see numerous nodules on the lateral roots. I collected the nodules for detailed study. I cut free hand sections of a nodule attached to root and stained…

Remembring Sir Leeuwenhoek on this day

It was a great day @GGDSD College, Chandigarh (India). The students were apprised of the contributions of Sir Antony Van Leeuwenhoek – the famous Dutch microscopist, who observed the bacteria and protozoa under a simple microscope invented by him. An owner of textile business and without any formal education in science, it is a great…

Sponge Gourd from my Kitchen Garden

Sponge gourd – Luffa aegyptiaca  Sponge Gourd is a fast growing vine that produces yellow flowers and is a popular vegetable of summers and spreads prolifically during monsoon season. The fruits are green and cylindrical in shape. Flowers are deep yellow in color and unisexual. Male flowers are numerous and present in clusters of 10 -15. Each…

Kitchen garden through foldscope

Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) of family Cucurbitaceae My kitchen garden has seen a rich flush of bitter gourd fruits this season.  Bitter Gourd is a tendril-bearing vine that bears separate yellow male and female flowers. The leaves have  deeply dissected lobes and the fruit is oblong and warty in appearance. Male flowers are more in number and…

Flower drop in Chilli plant in my kitchen garden

Dropping of flowers from the plant before the development of fruits is a problem I observed in the chilli plants  growing in my kitchen garden. I picked up the dropped flowers to observe its stigma and pollen under foldscope. There was nothing abnormal with the pollen or the receptivity of pollen on stigma. A Chilli flower showing…

Foldscope as a teaching and learning aid @ GGDSD, Chandigarh

After Foldscope awareness workshops, now the students @GGDSD, Chandigarh are using Foldscope in their routine practicals.  One such practical on anatomical study on Coralloid root of Cycas was performed by students using Foldscope. Cycas is a common ornamental Gymnosperm of great importance. It forms normal geotropic roots as well as symbiotic, apo-geotropic coralloid roots. Students…

Variation in different varieties of Portulaca

In our college garden variously colored  Portulacas are blooming. I was fascinated by the various colours and types and observed their behaviour closely. They are a typical case of Photoperiodism (day length). Commonly called as the Time Flower (Dopahar Khidi in Punjabi), as the flower opens and closes at specific times of the day. Portulacas…

Introducing Foldscope as an Educational Tool @ GGDSD College, Chandigarh

Seeing the interest of the students and the eagerness to view through Foldscope, we have taken an initiative to introduce Foldscope as a study tool. The 2nd year Botany graduates have collection of wild flora and preparation of Herbarium files mandatory in their curriculum laid out by Panjab University, Chandigarh. The students are being encouraged…

Peculiar characters observed in flower of Thorn apple (Datura)

Thorn apple – one of the poisonous flowering plant in nightshade family was seen growing along the banks of Ghaggar river in Panchkula district of Haryana (India). It commonly grows as a weed in waste lands along roadside and railway lines. It has trumpet shaped flowers and a spiny capsular fruit with numerous seeds. The…

Hidden wonders through foldscope

Referring to my earlier post on ‘Kitchen garden through Foldscope’, I am excited as well as shocked to share the presence of bug or mite which I viewed in the hairy style of bean flower. The stamens and pistil are present within the closed petals – Keel (Carina) and I took them out after giving…

Kitchen garden through Foldscope

During the summer vacations, I got the opportunity of exploring foldscope as a kitchen garden tool. I was able to see microscopic wonders in my own garden and familiarize the kids and my parents about the usage of foldscope. Bean plant (Phaseolus spp.) I started with a plant with hanging beans. The bean pods were…

Ginger peel and fibres under foldscope

Ginger – an ingredient of every Indian kitchen is botanically a rhizome ( an underground stem). The stem has distinct nodes and internodes. Many numerous fibres were present which were stained with safranine prior to foldscopy. Under the foldscope the cells of the peel were parenchymatous and seen filled with numerous starch grains, while the…

Pollen and Staminal Hair of Tradescantia – a spiderwort

Tradescantia (a spiderwort) is an invasive species and is well known to show cytoplasmic movements. In an attempt to study the phenomenon of cyclosis, the purple-heart species (Tradescantia pallida) was selected. It is an easy to grow plant by cuttings.   Its stamens have bilobed anthers with long filaments. Apparently the filaments appear white, but…

Foldscope Orientation

In a summer workshop conducted at SD College, Chandigarh, the students of B.Sc Botany were familiarized with the concept of foldscope, its usage and potential advantages. Later they collected samples and tried their hands at foldscopy. They were thrilled with this new activity to capture the images on the mobile phones. Glimpses from the workshop…