Day 7: Lichen culture– part 2

Continuing from my previous post, the April22-plate 3 was really remarkable. Without much ado, here is a sampling of what I saw. Looking forward to your feedback and also can you identify the mystery objects:

1. Nematode (Nematode-24728-1-LI): A fairly large nematode. You can see the pharynx and a bit of the digestive track. There might be some eggs too.

2. Bdelloid Rotifer.

3. Tardigrade. A sluggish tardrigrade.

4.  A Tetrahymena-like ciliate (Ciliate-24728-4-LI)

5.  This long ciliate is truly the star of this mix (Ciliate-24728-5-LI). It looks like Holotricha to me, but perhaps you could help me identify it.

6.  Amoeba (Amoeba-24728-6-LI, possibly Amoeboflagellate). Amoebae always fascinated me. Here is one which I think is the amoebic stage of the flagellate that follows. It is unipodal. Possibly belongs to the Vahlkampfia family.

7. Flagellate (Flagellate-24728-4-LI). I have been going between ciliate and flagellate for this. For now I think this is a flagellate. You can see a nice contractile vacuole.

8. What is this mystery object? Look at the Colpoda wikipedia page, and there might be hint there.

9.  Spherical bodies (Ciliate-24728-9-LI). I think these are cysting Coplodas or some such ciliate. Need to catch it encysting.

10 .If you are wondering whats feeding all these critters, look no further than the next video. Bacteria seem to be the main sustainers of these cultures.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Dear @Laks,

    This is beating my imagination. A universe of creatures – all in a lichen culture. Makes me really question if we understand the principles behind what gives rise to microscopic biodiversity. What an amazing surprise; it was totoallg worth the wait to watch all this data. Remarkable.

    So many mystery objects; I don’t know where to begin. But the conjugated dividing cells and the active cyst like spherical form were winners for me. What on earth is that round cyst like thing.

    Also, where is all theos coming from – how does it reach and be sustained on the lichen surface. Does it dry out completely from time to time; or the spores are traveling through the air. Is this lichen on specific plants and moist regions; or would dried up liche. When resuspended – will they still show this micro diversity.

    Thanks for sharing this new way to culture organisms.


  2. laksiyer says:

    @Manu. I think are residents and floaters. Over these many cultures., I have consistently recovered Colpoda, nematodes, Bdelloid rotifers and tardigrades. I have seen that Stylonychia-like ciliate in more than one culture. Yet others are floaters as I have only seen them once. Here is a study where the author does something similar for mosses and soil ciliates. Interestingly, he uses a similar technique of suspending the moss in shallow water and observing the resulting culture for 4 weeks every week.

    Need to look out for more such.

  3. laksiyer says:

    I need to try the experiment you suggest, drying it out and reconstituting it to see what comes up

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