Discipline: Biological Sciences
James Sossou - Norfolk State University
Co-Author(s): Joseph D'Silva, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA
Climate change will increase water temperature, salinity, and carbon dioxide levels. It will also cause sea level rise and coastal upwelling, and change rainfall patterns. These environmental changes may favor harmful algal blooms (HABs) and in doing so endanger human health, the environment, and economies across the planet (Climate Change and Harmful Algal Blooms, 2017). Microbes that feed on algae could be used to maintain the planetary ecosystem during climate change, by regulating certain populations of algae and cyanobacteria. Bdelloid rotifers are aquatic micro-invertebrates that are found in any body of water and naturally feed on yeasts and algae. They could, therefore, be used to regulate or restrict the abundance of algal blooms in certain marine environments. In this experiment, we aimed to test color preference in the food selection of rotifers; we hypothesized that rotifers would show a preference for foods stained with a particular color. Bdelloid rotifers (Philodina roseola) collected from the field were cultured in a laboratory. 180 rotifers were equally distributed on a chemplate (containing 12 wells) and were presented with Baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that was stained with either methylene blue or congo red. Rotifers from the experimental group significantly consumed yeast cells stained with methylene blue with lesser preference for congo red. These results suggest that controlled population of Philodina roseola could be selectively used to target and regulate certain populations of algae and cyanobacteria. Future work will involve testing the preference of these rotifers for various species of algae and chromophores in different growth conditions.Color Preference in the Food Selection of Rot.pdf
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Not Applicable.
Faculty Advisor: Joseph D'Silva, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I conducted all of this research.