All entries for Monday 13 August 2007

August 13, 2007

First day

I started my project at HRI today! Got there bright and early (a shocking 8:50am), and had the usual introduction with Katherine Denby, just basically going over what’s expected. Basically, in previous work, Dr. Denby and her team have identified three possible transcrition factors (518-A3, 518B-6 and NAC-3B) that may form resistance to Botrytis cinerea, which is a necrotrophic fungal pathogen. My job is to see if this is true.

I was given the health and safety induction and my own lab book (v. cool, although I’m not allowed to keep it at the end of the project, as it goes into the HRI archives).

Afterwards I meet another member of Dr. Denby’s team, Priya, who I will be working with most days. We go to the glasshouses to pick up six P40 trays (so called because they have 40 wells to each tray), and I also nearly destroyed one (oops!), ad then head to the dirty lab. Here, the soil needs to be soaked for 30 mins, as this makes it easier to plant the seeds. After 30 minutes though, hardly any of the soil is soaked, so we have to wait longer. Then comes to tedious task of pipetting the tiny Arabidopsis seeds: five seeds need to go into each well, to ensure that at least one wil survive and grow. If more than one grow, then they are weeded out. The trays are then covered in cling film (to maintain humidity) and placed in the environment chambers, which are set to a certain temperature, light intensity and CO2 level. My plants will be kept here for 4 weeks, then they will be ready for infection. In the meantime, I need to look after them, watering them every couple of days to make sure they grow!

After lunch I started sorting though some seeds that Priya had collected the previous week. This involves removing the seeds from the Arabidopsis plant and sifting them through a fine sieve to separate all the unwanted stuff from the seeds, which we do want. The seeds are then put into their own individually labelled Eppendorf tube.

I still have about 10 of those to do, which I will finish tomorrow morning.


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