Using a Winogradsky Column to Isolate Aerobic and Anaerobic Organisms
Any tall, clear plastic or glass container can be used for this activity.
Collect a sample of aquatic sediment from a pond, lake, stream, river, puddle, etc.
Add a small amount of a cellulose source: saw dust, small pieces of paper towel, dried grass clippings, have the class decide.
Add a sulfur source: 2 gr. of calcium sulfide or 2 yolks from hard boiled eggs.
Mix sediment, cellulose, and sulfur together and fill container to within 4 cm. of the top.
Fill the rest of the container with water.
Seal container using plastic wrap and a rubber band.
Place in front of a lamp or in a window for several weeks.
Colored areas should begin to appear after the first week.
What to look for:
Top region of the Winogradsky column
aerobic organisms such as cyanobacteria, bacillus, and algae
Mid region of the Winogradsky column
anaerobic organisms such as purple non-sulfur producing bacteria (reddish-purple patches) and purple sulfure producing bacteria (violet patches)
Lower region of the Winogradsky column
anaerobic organisms that are tolerant to high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide such as the green sulfur bacteria (green patches).
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