Dramatic demos

Jane Dorweiler dorwe001 at MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU
Fri Mar 1 09:41:25 EST 1996

I particularly like Equisetum spores, but the demo would require a microscope 
and preferably a video projection to a monitor.  

The elaters are particularly sensitive to changes in hydration, so if you place 
moist spores on a slide, you can observe the dramatic expansion of their elaters
as they dry.  Once they have expanded, you can make them re-curl simply by 
blowing moist breath over them, and then watch them go again.  We have had good 
success even with preserved spores from strobili, provided you rinse them in 
water before using.  If you use them while still in 100% fixative solution, they
tend to be very sticky and don't behave properly.  

What about the spore-shooting dung fungus as well?   

Jane Dorweiler                 **  Regardless of what they say about the 
Department of Plant Biology    **  cat, curiosity is a good thing.  It's 
University of Minnesota        **  what makes each and every one of us
dorwe001 at maroon.tc.umn.edu     **  a scientist!!

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