Coming to Terms with the Process

Hello! I hope you all had a wonderful last few weeks. I have been very busy in the lab lately and am eager to tell you all about that.

The last time I wrote, I was finishing up cycle four of my evolution experiment. I sporulated both population 7 and 8 to move onto cycle five. However, when I looked at population 7 under the microscope to check for sporulation after two days, I noticed that some of the yeast cells were glowing green. Both of my populations are only supposed to glow red. This means that somewhere along the road there had been some contamination. Helen and I decided that we would start all over from the beginning to ensure that we would be growing a pure bred population. I did continue to evolve population 8 as planned.

In addition to evolving the yeast, we want to start looking at phenotypic differences in the yeast as they evolve. So, I grew up yeast populations on YPD plates and then took segregates and plated them on MATs and YPLD plates.

We use antibiotics in the tubes where we grow the yeast to kill off any unwanted organisms. For cycle five for population 8 however, we ran out of our antibiotic, hygromycin. Instead of halting w decided to move on with the rounds without antibiotic. When I sporulated the populations to move onto cycle six, I noticed similar contamination to what happened before with population 7. This time instead of completely restarting we decided to just restart population 8 at cycle five since there was no contamination at the end of cycle four.

Sadly, I also had to toss my MATs and YPLD plates because we decided to toss those populations. Research definitely has its ups and downs and this past week or two has been a down.

Other than my evolution experiment, I also helped Helen with another project from a graduated senior. He was working on quorum sensing in yeast. I performed some DNA prep and ran some gels that came out inconclusive. We will be working on another one this week that will hopefully render better results.



  1. I understand the nitty-gritty process of research. It sure can drag on and seem like nothing is working! Keep going! I am sure you figure out the contamination soon enough so you can move on with your populations! Thanks for sharing!