[Chlamydomonas] from a high school teacher

Richard Kurtz via chlamy%40net.bio.net (by RKurtz from commack.k12.ny.us)
Sun Dec 20 08:42:41 EST 2009

To whom it may concern,

Some high school students of mine have been trying to develop a project involving aspects of biofuels and

The experimental idea was to find an Algae that we could grow in our classroom, algae that would lend itself
to relatively easy culturing, that we would be able to keep in our lab at school.

We want to have as an independent variable changing the carbon (sugar) source concentration of the alga.

We want to measure the oil content (dependent variable) in the algae given different carbon sources.

Measuring the oil content may be hard, we thought we could use a stain called nile red a stain for oils I think.

Then use a microscope to take pictures of cells and identify the oil and use a computer program called image j

to calculate the area of the oil.  Of course I am not sure if this is possible of if there is another way to estimate

oil concentration in the cells.

I am writing to this forum to see if anyone could give us some feedback on the plan and if anyone has suggestions

for us, in terms of culturing methods, manipulating a carbon source and measuring lipids in algae.

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Richard Kurtz
Commack High School
Long Island, NY

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