RECC | 5. Identify

5. Identify

Figuring Out What Microorganisms you have grown

You should start to see endophyte growth after 2 to 3 days. The endophytes will be fungal or bacterial in nature. Fungus is generally quite thready or wooly looking, and bacteria is waxy or fatty looking. The endophytes will be clustered around the plant material. If you have islands of growth away from the main sample then these will generally be contamination from either the air or your skin.

Examining Your Samples
—Make a note of the shape and colour of the colonies on the plates.
—What texture does it have ?
—Is it a smooth circle or does it have wavy crenelations around the outside?
—Does it seem to have a uniform carpet of growth or are there different zones with different levels of density present?
—Is it growing in concentric circles?
—What colour is it?

These tables will help give you an idea of what to look out for.

Form: Form is the overall shape the mature colony presents.
Elevation: Elevation is the raised shape the colony makes when you turn the plate on its side.
Margin: Margin is the very edge of the colony. Generally it is a lighter density area around the colony as it grows outwards.

Understanding the scientific descriptions of the shape, colour and textures can help you when searching for an identity. This table gives an example of common endophytes, and the types of characteristics they show.