We can phenotype Skeletonema on agar

The ability to grow on solid culture medium is a pre-requisite for a successful microbial genetic model organism. Skeletonema marinoi, a bloom-forming, planktonic marine microalga, is widely used in ecological, evolutionary and population genetics studies. We have tested and confirmed the ability of this common organism to grow on solid culture medium (agar) under experimentally manipulated conditions. We established a protocol for quantifying growth characteristics – length of lag phase, growth rate, maximum biomass yield – on agar medium. The procedure was tested under experimental
treatments and the resulting growth changes correlated with those observed in standard liquid culture. The ability to grow on solid medium broadens the use of S. marinoi as a molecular model, where agar is routinely used for various purposes (growth, selection, storage); and the possibility to quantify colony growth opens the way for high throughput, automated, or semi-automated phenotyping solutions.

Kourtchenko O, Rajala T, Godhe A (2018) Growth of a common planktonic diatom quantified using solid medium culturing. Scientific Reports. 8:9757 DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-28129-y.

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