Biology today

Pollen grain
Rhizopus on curd

The leaf of a dicot plant was taken and cut into small piece in the campus of IISER Tirupati. The ventral part of the leaf was searched for the stomata. Later at the edges of the leaf, small thread like projections were visible and were recognized as trichomes which are multicellular and help the plant in absorbing and also in gaseous exchanges.

An easy way to see pollen grains
Pollen grains of any common flower can be seen under the foldscope in this following way. First take the flower and expose the stamens to a sticking tape which is transparent. Make sure the tape is free of fingerprints as it becomes difficult to recognize stuff under the foldscope. Then stick it to the paper slides given in the pouch of foldscope accessories. Then cover it with another tape and focus it under the fold scope. Note that sometimes focusing cannot be done with the gradient given in the foldscope in which case we have to remove the light source and focus using our own hand keeping the slide against the light source. Focusing can be done very easily in this manner.

Rhizopus can be grown very easily in possibly any place. All I did was taking a cup with a small amount of curd. I initially tried to see if there were any bacteria or any possible microbe in the curd. Those were really small and the magnification of the given foldscope is less to see that. Later I kept in a remote place for two days at room temperature. After that I could see the fungi sporing in my naked eye!!! Similar experiment was made with the bread and it is easy to see the spores along with the mycelium with our bare eye.

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