Friday, July 3, 2009

End of the Duckweed Crisis

Enough with the suspense! I know everyone reading this blog was at the edge of their seats with my last posting. I am happy to say that the duckweed crisis has been adverted by quick thinking on behalf of the lab staff.

I was sent to TU Delft's botanical garden to collect more duckweed. The botanical garden was relatively small, but contained a great deal of diversity. In the location where they keep the duckweed they had tiny flightless birds that served to naturally control pests. They look like they would make great pets....

In the end, the botanical garden didn't have enough duckweed to suit my needs. I then just roamed around the city in search of some good duckweed. We visited three different ponds that were completely covered in duckweed. It seems that there are three common types of duckweed in the Netherlands. One species is twice as large as the one I am working with. The other type is about 1/10 of the size. I collected about 4 kilos of mushy duckweed and returned to the lab. Then all I had to do was sieve the duckweed salad through a 10mm screen and get my precious Lemna gibba.

I am now ready to roll!

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