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Funky Microbial Art w/ Winogradsky Columns!

  • Jul 21, 2013 · 2:00 PM
  • Ahnon's

They might not look like much now, but the microbes in your local pond water are colorful scene-setters waiting to happen. In this classic Winogradsky Column microbio experiment, microbes in mud form beautiful layered communities, due to oxygen and nutrient gradients in the column. Adding different food sources like egg shells and paper can also contribute to graded flourishing/perishing. This is a fun way to find out about microbes and soil health while making some cool window art as well. We also plan to use microorganisms from the columns for other upcoming microbiology meetups: identifying different bacterial species, building microbial fuel cells, and so on.

Bring your own imaginative column: anything from 2L plastic soda bottles to tall decorative glass jars will do. A lid/stopper of some sort may be useful for transport. We'll have a few extra for anyone that forgets and will have all other supplies (including some nice rich stinky mud) on hand.

6 CO2 + 6 H20 = C6H12O6 + 6 O2 (plant photosynthesis)

6 CO2 + 6 H2S = C6H12O6 + 6 S (bacterial anoxygenic photosynthesis)












Wanna make yours extra special? Feel free to bring your own sand, nails, shells or other materials! Here are some tips on getting good colors.

NCSU Winogradsky Columns

Woodrow Winogradsky

Backyard Bio

Winogradsky images

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  • Patrik

    Preserving some information for posterity. We collected mud on July 21, 2013, on these two locations:

    - Rich, dark & stinky brackish mud from the Radio Tower Pond (Southernmost lagoon) at Berkeley Aquatic Park. Tidal inflow through the tide tube is very limited, so the lagoon should be fairly low salinity. We also sampled some interesting looking algae for people to add to their columns here.,-122.297691&layer=c&cbll=37.850211,-122.297701&cbp=12,160.55,,0,-4.31

    - Bay mud at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland. We didn't time the tides well (sampled at 1:45pm, with high tide around noon), but we were still able to sample some rather sandy black mud from the steps at the park.,-122.325363

    July 22, 2013

  • Patrik

    Great meetup people! Thanks especially to Ahnon and Matt for going on a pre-meetup mud raid, and Ahnon for hosting us!

    2 · July 21, 2013

  • Cere D.

    Sounds intriguing. Not sure if I can make this, but will try.

    July 18, 2013

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