This past week was the second week for our Biology Fungi Module. The first activity was to used fungi guide books to identify varieties of fungi and to assign them to the correct phyla. These are all photos of fungi that I saw in Montana and South Carolina. Admittedly, most do fall into the phyla Basidiomycota (mushrooms and shelf fungi). The students were able to definitively identify some, tentatively identify others, and were stumped on a few. My main purpose was to have them familiar with the different phyla, though, as well as to consider the vast variety of fungi.
After reviewing the chapter highlights and discussing the different phlya in Kingdom Fungi, we proceeded to Experiment 4.2. The students mixed 1T yeast and 1T sugar with 2 c. warm water. They let one sit for 5 minutes and the other sit for 1 hour. (Actually I started the hour one before class to save time. Then, they made slides, stained and unstained from both samples and looked for yeast budding under the microscope.
We had a bit of trouble differentiating between bubbles and yeast at times. Also, some of the samples were taken from the bottom of the cup, while others were taken from the bubbles at the top. They all agreed that the better samples came from the bottom and I reminded them that in taking samples from 2 places, they had more than one variable changing. Did the dye make a difference in what they saw or was it the sample variation? Lesson learned, I hope!
Next week, chemistry!