Chaetoceros – A Diatom

Found this incredibly looking glassy diatom in the water which I collected from a beach in south India (Suryalanka Beach, Andhra Pradesh).

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Found a Volvox fidgeting on my slide!

Volvox is a perfect delight to the microscopic observer’s eye.   It is a type of green algae which is not-so-commonly found on freshwater habitats. It lives in spherical colonies. That’s the reason they appear globe like. It was first reported by Antony van Leeuwenhoek in 1700.

A single volvox is predominantly a colony which is composed of copious number of tiny algal cells with two flagella rooted onto the surface of a hollow sphere/coenobium made of translucent gelatinous glycoprotein. Each colony may contain about 500-50,000 single celled algae.

The individual algal cells are linked to each other by thin strands of cytoplasm which facilitates the whole colony to swim in a synchronized fashion. These cells have small red eyespots which enable the colony to swim towards light. It also shows distinct anterior and posterior poles.

Volvox established its colonial lifestyle 200 million years ago. The colonial development was possibly the first step against multicellular organisms for natural selection. The difference between a multicellular organism and a colonial organism is that individual organisms from a colony can if alienated survive on their own while cells from a multicellular organism cannot.

Volvox belongs to the genus chlorophytes, accordingly volvox cells have chlorophyll and makes their own food by photosynthesis.

Most volvox colonies have spheres inside. These are ‘daughter’ colonies, which are formed by means of asexual reproduction. The daughter colonies/gonads grow from cells around the colony which enlarge and undergo a number of cell divisions until they form a small sphere. The daughter colonies are initially held within the parent coenobium/sphere and have their flagella directed inwards. Later when the parent crumbles, the daughters upturn their flagella inside out.

Volvox also shows sexual reproduction. It develops special germ cells. Male and female colonies form different germ cells. Male colonies release abundant number of sperm cells formed by division while female colonies do not divide instead they enlarge to form an ova or egg. After fertilization, the zygotes become enclosed in a cyst and are released from the parent colony when it dies.

Volvax

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Rhizopus bread mold under microscope

Molds are the common fungi found on the surface of stale food.  The very acquainted mold appearing on bread is Rhizopus  Stolonifer.

Molds are fungi that grow in the form of translucent multicellular filaments called hyphae and a network of these hyphae is known as mycelium. Special strands of hyphae connecting fungal bodies are called as stolons. The soft white fluffy appearance on the surface from above is due to the presence of mycelium. The dusty texture of many molds is caused by generous number of asexual spores formed by differentiation in the sporangium. Many of these spores are colored, making the fungus much more obvious to the human eye.

Rhizopus reproduces asexually by sending up vertical stalk called sporangiophore which lumps at the tip to produce a sporangium. The cytoplasm in the sporangium divides repeatedly to release a mass of spores, each with a nucleus. When the sporangium breaks open, the spores are dispersed in the air, and each can grow to form a new mycelium on an apt medium.

Sexual reproduction occurs only when opposite mating types (+ and -) come in contact. Effective mating results in the formation of zygospores at the point of contact. Sequentially, the zygospore germinates and forms a sporangiophore whose sporangium contains both + and – spores.

Fungus feed on deteriorated organic matter through mycelium. The hyphae secrete digestive enzymes onto the food surface, which break down the complex biological polymers into smaller monomers. These monomers are then absorbed into the mycelium by facilitated diffusion and active transport.

The following are the pictures of Rhizopus Stolonier.

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Rhizopus

Rhizopus..

40X veiw of Spore

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Microscopy of Bronchioles

The respiratory cycle of human beings involves intake of oxygen, gas exchange and exhalation of carbon dioxide. Once air headways through the mouth or nose, it travels over the oropharynx, nasopharynx, the larynx, the trachea which bifurcates into a progressively subdividing system of bronchus which eventually subdivide into fine bronchioles until it finally reaches the circular alveoli sacs where the gas exchange take place through diffusion.

Bronchioles are the narrowest air passages which are about 1 mm or less in diameter. The wall of it is entirely composed of smooth muscles and no cartilage unlike bronchus which has both. This lack of cartilage is the trademark for the major difference between a “bronchus” and a “bronchiole”.

The below are the microscopic pictures of transverse section of Bronchioles

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10x view

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4X view

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Iota of love under microscope

Rose is the most popular flower in the world and it signifies a symbol of LOVE and beauty. Likewise many flowers have a momentous symbolic meaning and this manner of assignment of meaning to flowers is known as floriography.

Archaeologically, the oldest Rose fossils have been found in Colorado, dating back to more than 35 million years ago, long before human existed.

The following are the pictures of rose petals under microscope.

Petals are botanically called as “Corolla”, which are soft and colored to charm insects for pollination.

When viewed under a microscope the petal surface consists of closely packed cells with fine outer edges. Each cell consists of the biological pigment which imparts the color to the petals.  The carotenoids and anthocyanins are the organic pigments which are present in the chromoplast. Chromoplasts are organelles responsible for the structure’s distinctive colors as they synthesize as well as store pigments.

The chemical constituents associated with the fragrance of roses are citronellol and geraniol.

10X view of red rose petal

4X view

40x view of pink petal

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Paper under Microscope

Paper is a thin sheet like arrangement produced by compact water drained cellulose fibers acquired from the plants.

Cellulose is basically a carbohydrate i.e. a polysaccharide with the chemical formula C6H10O5 .  It is the primary structural component of plant cell wall.

Paper is a versatile material with many uses. While the most common uses are for writing, printing and packing.

In my opinion, I like the crispness of the fresh untouched papers of the novel which generates a serious urge in me to grasp the book (only if they come under my genre).

Anyhow the following are the pictures of paper under microscope.

The below pictures are of pencil mark on paper. The black powder adhering to the cellulose fibers of paper is GRAPHITE existing
inside the pencil lead.

This is the picture of ink blotting the fibers of paper.

The below pictures are of graph paper showing discreet red fine line.

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Microscopy of White gerbera daisies

Gerbera daisies are the fifth most popular flowers in the world and are hugely used in gardens, bouquets, flower arrangements, etc. They closely resemble to sunflowers since they both belong to the same family Asteraceae. These flowers appear in different delightful colors like red, pink, orange, yellow and white.

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Gerbera was named after the German botanist Traugott gerber and Gerbera daisies were discovered in the year 1884 by botanist Robert Jameson. This plant is native to South Africa but now its cultivation extends to South America and tropical Asia.

The flower has multiple rings of gradually increasingly large overlapping petals surrounding the central dark disk. It shows three different type of florets. The dark central disk contains “disk florets”.  Around this disk is a ring containing intermediate “trans florets”.  Finally, the outer petals constitute a final ring of “ray florets”. The yellow structures are the male stamens (pollen producing organs) of the trans and ray florets.

Here is how the whole flower looks like, apologizes since I couldn’t click the picture of the uncut flower and had to upload it from a website.

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However, to examine the pollen grains I delicately extracted the stamen from the flower and dissected it. The following are the pictures of Gerbera daisies dissected stamen showing pollen grains which I captured through my microscope.

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40X magnification of pollens

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The dark coloured hair like struture is the “pappus bristle”.

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The pappus bristles are thorny in nature.

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40X magnification of hair present at the bottom of the flower.

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Rotifers-The wheeled animals!

We all know that there are vast numbers of microorganisms around us and the most commonly found one are the rotifers. Rotifers have been discovered back then in 17 century by Antony Ven Lewenhook.

Rotifers are the miniature multi-celled (below 1000 cells) microorganism found in all the places of water. These are the tiniest members of the group of multicellular organisms to which we, humans belong. They are mostly about 0.1 to 0.5 mm long with a crown like ciliated structure called corona at the front. They loco mote through contracting and stretching its body.

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A classic rotifer has a brain, digestive system, excretory system and reproductive system. Rotifers are known as wheel animals as the corona around the mouth resemble wheel in motion i.e. the two circles of constantly beating cilia for grabbing food giving the impression of rotating wheels. Sometimes these wheels-like-thing also act as propellers for moving the organism from one place to another.

Rotifers feed on all organic matter, making them the most jubilant scavengers of aquatic environment.

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Microscopic view of our domestic vampires-Mosquitos

Mosquitos- a very common insect found in every corner of earth and unfortunately in my home too. I have always been mosquito’s favorite food among my family. So to have an intimate look of my blood lovers, I squashed a couple of mosquitos and studied them under my microscope. Here are a few microscopic snaps of the mosquito’s body parts.

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A mosquito’s Head and the tiny dots are its eyes.

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A pair of Antenna to sense the body odor.

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Closer view of antenna

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Mosquitos Wing- mosquitos have a pair of wings which are covered with fine scales. These numerous small scales are located along the veins (the mid dark lines) and edges of the wings. They help to eliminate the dust and improve flying efficiency.

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40X of Scales present on the edges of wings.

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Mosquitos Larvae- showing well developed head with pin point eyes and mouth brushes which are used for feeding on microorganisms and organic matter.

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Mosquito larvae’s breathing tube- have a very special tube attached to the tail that reaches to the water surface for breathing.

 

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