selective algae culture from seawater

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Avery louie

Aug 29, 2021, 6:32:42 PM8/29/21
hey bio folk,

I am trying to isolate bioluminescent algae from my local ocean.  As far as actually growing the algae, I have a pretty good idea of how to do it and I have kept algae like this before- however actually capturing and isolating them is another story.

I have tried a number of silly ideas, including an underwater algae siphon:


My new plan, once they are around again, is to get a 5 gal bucket and strain it through coffee filters.  I may try to concentrate the algae ahead of time using a fine mesh filter, then emptying the filter into the bucket.

I hope the coffee filters will immobilize individual algae, and then I can try to find them on the filter (by bioluminescence) and cut out a small piece to inoculate some fresh media.

I may try to filter/vacuum sterilize a few liters of seawater on site to make sure the salinity and pH etc. don't immediately kill the alga.

Let me know what you think of the plan and if anyone has experience in this field, it would be great to hear about it!  I googled around and didnt find anything's specifically useful


Dakota Hamill

Aug 30, 2021, 10:07:10 AM8/30/21
No idea how to isolate bioluminescent algae but cool to see the DIY underwater algae siphon haha!  Someone at WHOI might know,

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