Foldscope helped unfold the myth of potatoes with purple veins

While cooking potatoes, I took potatoes which looked normal from outside, but when I cut open a raw potato it showed purple veins from inside. My mother-in-law told me to throw as it was poisonous. I wondered what it could be due to? I scrapped a few cells on a slide to observe the difference…

Fungal spores on yeast cupcakes

Yeast cupcakes left unattended for some period were seen to get contaminated and some fungal growth developed. Sample was drawn from the infected portion and a temporary mount was prepared to observe under a foldscope to find Aspergillus species.

Fungi Everywhere -6

Sample -6 is of fungi growing on black grapes. I spotted white cottony fungal growth on black grapes stored in refrigerator. Fungal growth on grapes may have developed due to rotting. I picked a sample from the rotting portion and fixed it on a slide to peep through the foldscopee. I could make out a…

Peristomial teeth and spores of Funaria (moss) under foldscope

In my practical class of Plant Biodiversity, we were given Funaria plants with sporophyte for study. The sporophyte of Funaria was found to be differentiated into foot, seta and capsule. Foot was embedded in the plant body. Seta is a long, cord-like hygroscopic structure that holds the capsule high. Capsule is erect when young but…

Winter vegetable at my Kitchen garden – Brocolli pollen

Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowering head is eaten as vegetable. Botanically known as Brassica oleracea var. italica is growing as a winter vegetable in my kitchen garden. The plants are bearing yellowish-green flowering corymbs these days. So, I plucked some flowers to isolate their pollen and observed…

Wild plants of Chandigarh – Specimen 5 (Chickweed )

Common name – Chickweed Botanical name – Stellaria media  Family – Caryophyllaceae Collection site – Sector 32, Chandigarh Habitat – Common chickweed is a very common annual weed of lawns and fields. Habit – Winter annual herb Stem –  Erect, branched, herbaceous, green, pubescent bearing a single row of hairs on alternating sides Leaves –…

Glandular Trichomes of Stellaria under foldscope

In Stellaria media, the common chickweed several hairy appendages were seen on the surface of stem and sepals. These were fixed on a slide and observed under foldscope to study their structure. It was amazing to see that these were glandular trichomes consisting of a stalk that was either unicellular & uniseriate, unicellular and multi-seriate…

Seeds of Stellaria seen through foldscope

Stellaria is a common weed of grasses and fields during winter season. It bears reddish-brown to dark brown coloured, tiny seeds in large numbers enclosed within its capsular fruit. On observing its seeds through foldscope, they were found to be rough and had pointed ornamentation on their surface.

Spores and pseudo-elaters of Hornwort captured under foldscope as a part of class practical

Spores and pseudo-elaters of Hornworts were captured under foldscope as a part of Botany practical @GGDSD, Chandigarh by 2nd Semester undergraduates. Foldscope usage is becoming quite popular in routine classroom practicals. Bryophytes are categorized into liverworts and mosses. Anthoceros commonly called Hornwort has tapering horn-like sporophyte that lack setae. It grows from a bulbous foot embedded…

Pollen of Aloe under foldscope by Yatin @GGDSD College, Chandigarh

The Aloe plants in the college Botanical garden were seen with a fresh bloom of orange coloured pendulous, tubular flowers arranged in spikes. Pollen were isolated from these flowers and seen under foldscope. Aloe plant is an evergreen perennial succulent with fleshy leaves that have serrated margins and are full of gel. Flowered spike arise…

Foldscope as an educational and teaching tool-Histology of Tongue

Tongue- This organ is a mass of interwoven, striated muscle tissue, interspersed with glands and fat and covered with a mucous membrane. Stained with Mallory trichrome stain, which contains three components- aniline blue, acid fuchsin, and orange G. As striated muscle, human tongue muscle usually stains red, due to the orange G component of stain….

Puffed infected patches – are these of nematodes or some pest?

Yatin of 4th semester @GGDSD College, Chandigarh brought me some infected leaves of Ficus tree to observe under foldscope. These he had got from his hometown in Haryana (Punjab) during winter break. All the leaves showed puffy, white balloon- like blisters/blotches due to some disease. I tried a sample out of these under foldscope. Everytime…

Dried Milk sample foldscopy

In India, we consume milk after boiling it. I have seen milk generally sticks and dries up on the walls of pan. I have scrapped this dried milk sample after few hours from side of the pan in which milk was boiled. Its texture was just like a thin plastic film. I observed it under…

Viewing Infected leaf under foldscope

I spotted an infected leaf in the college garden. It showed white calcareous patches. I plucked the leaf to observe the disesed patch under foldscope. Some thread-like structures could be viewed and worm-like structures too.

Fungi Everywhere -5

Sample -5 is of fungal growth on Pumpkin. White crust was seen on pumpkin stored in refrigerator. A sample was drawn and observed under foldscope to study the type of fungi. Extensive hyphae with branched conidiophores and conidia in chains was observed.

Fungi everywhere -4

I obtained a pack of home-made cake from bakery but failed to check the manufacturing and expiry dates on the label. I placed the packet in refrigerator. As I opened the pack after 2 days, I saw some white cottony, fuzzy patches on the cake. At other end I saw greenish patch. I took a…

Using Foldscope as tool in class room teaching @GGDSD College, Chandigarh

A class practical on testing the presence of starch in food was performed using Foldscope by students of 6th semester. Requirements: Potato tuber, razor blade, cover slip, water, iodine solution, microscope, blotting paper, foldscope Principle: Iodine reacts with starch and changes its colour to blue-black Procedure: Cut a thin section of a potato tube by…

Pollen of an unknown wild flower

I spotted an unknown pinkish-lavender coloured wild flower growing near my house. I plucked and fixed its pollen on a slide to observe under foldscope.

Pollen images

Using a foldscope to observe pollen gives fantastic images.

Wild plants of Chandigarh – Specimen 4 (Railroad creeper)

Commonly known as Railroad creeper or Ivy-leaved Morning Glory Botanical name – Ipomoea cairica Family – Convolvulaceae (Morning Glory Family) Collection site – Sec-64, S.A.S Nagar (Mohali) Habitat – fast-growing perennial herbaceous vine, that becomes weed in the wild. It rapidly colonizes the nearby trees, poles and nearby vegetation by creeeping Habit – herbaceous perennial…

Fungi everywhere -3

Sample 3 is of dried cake of Henna paste. Henna powder is applied as a natural dye to greying hair in our country (India). The powder is soaked overnight and then applied on hair. Somehow my friend did not get time to apply it and the paste dried up. When she noticed it after 3-4…

Fungi everywhere -2

Sample -2 is of juice, which we normally relish at juice corners roadside. But never have seen whether the vendor washed the utensils or the juicer. The old juice left in the jar normally starts to ferment within a few hours. You can see the thick sporangia isolated from beet and carrot juice left overnight…

Fungi everywhere

Fungi are the organisms that can find a place to grow anywhere. They can cause rotting of fruits, vegetables or juices. I have now starting exploring all such substrates that are suitable for fungal growth. Sample -1 is from a juice corner, where I could spot roughage being thrown as waste serving as an easy…

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 demonstration in a village school-2

Foldscope orientation workshop was organized at S. Baldev Singh Govt. senior secondary School, Majatri (SAS Nagar). Use of audio visual aids is rarely done in classrooms in rural setups. Theoretical explanation and videos on foldscopy raised curiosity in the students. This paper microscope really fascinated them, They want to use it on their own. They…

Foldscopy in a village School of Punjab

A Foldscope orientation programme was organized at S. Baldev Singh Govt. senior secondary School, Majatri (SAS Nagar), Punjab on 7th Jan, 2019 by team Foldscope@GGDSD. The school is situated around 25 km from Chandigarh. While traveling from Chandigarh to village I have seen many stalls selling fresh Jaggery. They are preparing it on roadside from…

Moldy growth on home-made butter

Some bluish-green moldy growth was seen on home-made butter kept in refrigerator. I drew out a sample and fixed it on slide to observe under foldscope.

Foldscope sensitization and exploring brushy anthers – an outreach activity

While I was at my daughter’s place in Ahmedabad, I sensitized her friends on usage of foldscope and how it can help in viewing different samples. As a sample, they plucked a purple coloured flower growing near the society gate and plucked its anthers. They all were fascinated to see how these appeared under foldscope.