to Program's List of Lesson Plans
What's Wrong with the Plants?
- The best plants to use for observation are cucumber, tomato, or egg
plants because they are quick-growing and will exhibit obvious, characteristic
symptoms of nematode infection.
- Let seedlings get at least 5" tall before you inoculate. You can mix
eggs with water and pour on the soil of the plant. Start these initial
plants about two months before the lab. If possible have growing plants
available for students to observe. Then when you introduce the plants
they will know that you treated all plants the same.
- Every team does not need to have a whole plant to observe. The plants
can be shared if you do not have enough for all teams.
- Students will use the microcentrifuge tubes to extract eggs. Small
test tubes can be used. They should wear goggles and aprons. Even a
small amount of bleach can be harmful to the eyes and will discolor
- Leaving the eggs in the bleach too long or not rinsing the roots can
destroy the eggs. Have students time the shaking of the roots carefully.
- Bleach solution is 1 part bleach to 4 parts water.
- The extraction filter dishes can be made from almost anything. You
just need to make sure that the soil pouch is screened from the bottom
of the dish. I suggest ä Tupperware-like sandwich boxes with lid.
The screen needs to be pliable enough to make a free-standing filter
that fits into the container. Stainless steel is recommended if available
and affordable but do not use copper window screen. Copper is harmful
to nematodes. The first set of students to do the lab should construct
the dishes. (See Diagram) The screen will serve as a basket
for the soil pouch.
- Scotties brand tissues are selected specifically because the spaces
between the fibers are large enough for the nematodes to fit through
and the tissues do not tear easily when soaked. Make sure the water
covers about 1/2 of the tissue with soil.
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