January 23, 2008

Research-y Updates: Colloidal Chitin and Dried Beetles

The colloidal chitin protocol I used works. It dispersed evenly and I got growth of a yeast on it when I inoculated a plate using some very old, dried-out fungus we had lying around the lab. The LB plate I inoculated with the same sample showed very different colonies. My field collection method is no good, though. I'm going to try taking cores of fungal context and macerating them next time. I can inoculate my plates with the solution in which I mash 'em up.

I found a terrific source for insect specimens, too. It's called Insects International and the specimen selection they have is unbelievably huge. I should have my specimens of Bolitophagus reticulans, Litargus sexpunctatus, Anistoma sp., Triplax thoracica and Derodontus maculatus shortly. Then I can try out the non-destructive DNA extraction protocol I have just for this purpose. If it works and I get good enough with it that I don't, in fact, wind up destroying the specimens, I'll have some justification when I go out and ask for collections.

Things are moving right along!

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