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Thread: Nepenthes coursework/project - singaporeans pls?

  1. #1

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    Hey all singaporean cpers,
    As you may have noticed I am planning to do an experiment on nepenthes for my IB coursework. Here is the link. I am studying the different species of nepenthes, pH in the fluid and fluid from different size pitchers (now of the same species) and seeing how each of these factors affect the rate of digestion of albumen solution.

    Now, I have a favour to ask which may surprise most of you.

    In order to perform these experiments testing pH, rate of digestion etc, I need nepenthes fluid. And lots of it. I have been collecting (and am still collecting) species to try to build up my collection. However it may not be enough. So I am asking that you *donate*- ? a little fluid if I need some. This is not asking for plants or anything, I just need the fluid in the pitchers. As I suspect that most of you have massive collections (Lam_wn, Cindy, JalanKayu and the rest of you), unlike my tiny own. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]

    In a few months I will publish the results, possibly in some journal or magazine, if it turns out something useful, which I am pretty sure it will. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    Thanks,
    Jason

  2. #2
    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    No problem. But do you need them fresh? Or you would want to give us a week to collect?

    Be careful when you carry out the experiment though. Pitcher fluid is FULL of bacteria. None in a unopened pitcher though.

    Do you have the book "Carnivorous Plants of Singapore"? It is a little booklet by BP and Singapore Science Centre. In it, there is a chapter on the digestive fluid of nepenthes and how it actually works. You may want to refer to it for ideas on how to present your findings.

    PM me or email me if you need any other help.
    Cindy

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    IB what fun [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img]

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    Cindy: Thanks for notifying me 'bout that.

    Yup I think I need them fresh, that is, only if I run out of fluid and species of neps to test. I probably won't, just this is a good standby so my project won't flip on its head if I do run out of fluid.

    I might keep it in a test tube. Whatever enzymes that are in there can stay there. However if I must go round singapore hindering ppl for nep fluid then be it, I will have to cram to do the experiments then. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]

    Yep I know about the unopened pitchers. Although I think I will probably have to do it in opened pitchers though, with all the other pitchers constant (hopefully conc of bacteria will also stay constant), becuz I still need the digestive process in the wild to repeat itself in this case, be it bacteria or enzyme. Plus poking the syringe into the opened pitcher fluid will be a littel dodgy. I'll see what I can do. Does anyone know if this will hurt the plants?

    Anyone can Pm me if they have any ideas, the experiment is still at a 'flexible' stage where I can change variables, etc. The real (collecting and recording) result part of the experiment will at latest be done when I come back from america at the 4th of July.

    I am doing preliminary testing now. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    Jason

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Jason, I'm not sure you can assume that the fluids in open pitchers will remain at all constant. Lots of critters use open pitchers for homes or hunting grounds, and so the pitchers see a lot of traffic - I have a suspicion that assuming open pitchers will remain constant might give you some errant results. Just shaking a pitcher is enough to change it's pH. Some mosquitos raise larvae in pitchers. Even if you quarantine the plants, there's stuff in the soil that might find it's way into the pitcher... If this were my project (jeez, a biology project is my worst academic nightmare) I would seal off a pitcher (saran wrap and scotch tape?) for control after it had been open for a day or so. A second control would be a pitcher that is open and not being fed - I'm guessing you plan to feed the pitchers with controlled prey to keep things constant.
    As for puncturing a pitcher with a syringe (I think that's what you're asking,) I don't think it will hurt the plant, but it may well kill the pitcher. Why can't you just put a pipette on the end of the syringe and put it in through the opening in the pitcher? It seems to me that a needle is a little overkill.
    Good luck - keep us posted!
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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