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Archive for the ‘Microbiology’ Category

The weather in Brisbane has been hot, humid and rainy for the last few days – ideal weather for fungi and for fungi spotting. 

Last Friday, 24th March, my eyes were pealed on my walk to work and during my lunch break for any and every kind of fungi. Mushrooms galore, chanterelles, mycena, bird nest fungi, plate fungi and slime mould, but no stinkhorns. 

 

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I blogged about my first day of volunteering at the World Science Festival Brisbane here. Now for a rundown on Day Two of volunteering. 

My one and only shift for the day was with the Microbiologist Apprentice program at QIMR Berghoffer where high school kids and their parents looked at the anti-microbial properties of plants, and used a fluorescent product to detect if the bacterial cells were alive or dead. The attendees even got to do a sixteen streak inoculation of an agar plate with the sample bacterial culture. 

I helped seal their plates and clean up the lab afterwards. It was very cool to be back in a micro lab. It all came rushing back. And I got to catch a glimpse of some small agarose gel tanks and PCR machines. It takes me back! It’s been eleven years since I was in a lab!

Then it was on to Southbank to catch up with a good friend and some Street Science. We saw some fluorescent coral, some starfish, hermit crabs, a 3D printer and all kinds of cool science and engineering stuff. I would have loved this stuff when I was a kid and a teenage science nerd! No wonder the kids love Street Science! 

Can’t wait to be involved in the Festival next year!

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I spotted the fungus – one of the most spectacular of all fungi – the lattice stinkhorn (Colus pusillus) in a damp native flower bed beside the footpath. My morning, filled with sad goodbyes to my partner and dog, had suddenly got brighter! Nature never ceases to amazing me and uplift my spirits. 


Lattice stinkhorn (Colus pusillus) spotted at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Check out this great document from the Queensland Mycological Society on Colus pusillus here.

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While walking back to my office from  training session, I noticed some Stinkhorn fungi in a flower bed. In fact there were multiple specimens of two different species of Stinkhorn fungi located in close proximity to each other (see fourth photo) –

  • Asteroe rubra – a red star shaped Stinkhorn fungus
  •  Phallus rubicundus – a red phallic shaped Stinkhorn fungus

   
    
   

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Red Stinkhorn fungi (Phallus rubicundus) spotted on a flower bed. I even spotted some flys attracted by the pungent foul smelling or dour omitted by the fungus specimens.    

    
    
 

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Plate fungi on fallen logs amongst bush on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Spotting while walking our puppy and spending lazy days at Currimundi Lake near Calounda.

  
   

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