Field Experiences in South Texas
The University of Texas Marine Science Institute

June 13th, 2010 Posted in General, Plankton

Howdy! My name is Allison Johnson and I am a biology and chemistry double major from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. This summer I am working with diatom guru Tracy Villareal. We are studying the diatom Hemiaulus hauckii and its nitrogen fixing symbiont. My project involves growing a culture of the diatom and then measuring the nitrogen-fixation rates of the cyanobacteria symbiont, something that hasn’t been done before in a culture of this diatom! I hope to use different nitrogen sources while growing the diatoms as well as test differing light levels to see how much energy the diazotroph needs. So far, I have performed a few experiments using a Gas Chromatographer and the results have been very interesting; I found H.hauckii’s symbiont only fixes nitrogen during certain periods of the day. So, for my research this summer, I hope to look into this more thoroughly as well as work on the general goals, very exciting stuff! The photo includes pictures I have taken of H. hauckii and its symbiont (viewed under an epifluorescent light).

Allison Johnson 

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  2. By JoAnne Johnson on Jun 16, 2010

    Wow! Your research sounds very interesting. I hope you discover something great and have a fantastic time.

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