Lockdown science project: identifying Holly's homegrown mould
Posted on July 10, 2020 by Kimberley Ndungu
In May, nine-year-old Holly shared with us her impressive lockdown science project, which included four homegrown fungi colonies. In this blog post, we will be going through some responses to Holly’s colonies.
Holly set about using scientific methods to identify each colony, using some of the Microbiology Society's resources on colony morphology.
Those colonies look beautiful! 😍 Good work growing them at home Holly!— Contamination Club (@ContamClub) May 29, 2020
We took Holly’s pictures to twitter to see what our followers thought.
Pithium insidiosum— Hari Pankaj Vanam (@DrPankajVanam) June 10, 2020
Pythium insidiosum is a oomcyete (water mould), which looks very similar to the mold in Holly’s first colony and is often found in standing water or occasionally in wet areas of soil with dense vegetation.
Hi Holly, fantastic work you've done here! For result 2, from your colony morphology description, I'd hazard a guess at Aspergillus nidulans. This fungi is very common in the home and is found all around us. Keep up the good work!!!— Sam (@MycoloSam) June 1, 2020
With the guidance of Holly’s morphology descriptions, Sam suggested the second colony could be Aspergillus nidulans.
Conidiobolus coronatus?— Hari Pankaj Vanam (@DrPankajVanam) June 10, 2020
Conidiobolus coronatus is an inhabitant of soil and can be found on leaves, and similar to Holly’s description it has a fine, powdery, white surface.
Chaetomium?— Hari Pankaj Vanam (@DrPankajVanam) June 10, 2020
A dark walled mould that can be found in the air, on dry walls and carpets, Chaetomium is a common household fungus.
Fantastic!! Mycologist in the making here!! https://t.co/wFDvJEyMck— Sam (@MycoloSam) May 29, 2020
We are extremely impressed with Holly’s four colonies and presentation for her lockdown science project – full pictures and descriptions can be found on the previous blog post.
Well done Holly!