What is this slime?

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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What is this slime?

Post by Jbailey »

I found some milky-white slime in my latest hay infusion. At the 400X mag with my microscope I found the slime was composed of the thin strands with many tiny dots pictured below.

They move around a bit slower than diatoms and desmids but are much longer.

Compare their size with the common Paramecia seen with them.

Any ideas as to what they are?



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Post by gpmatthews »


Though we lean upon the same balustrade, the colours of the mountain are different.

Franz Neidl
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Post by Franz Neidl »

Hello Jim,

the colour ("milky-white slime") and the "tiny dots" are an indication that these are Proteobacteria from the genus Beggiatoa.
The tiny dots are stored sulfur.


john sp.
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Post by john sp. »

Franz's identification of these filaments as sulfur utilizing bacteria made me wonder if you can detect a wiff of "rotten eggs" from your culture.

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Post by Mitch640 »

Jim, I recognize the cyanobacteria, but never noticed it being associated with white slime. There seems to be a lot of the filaments in Mississippi River water here in La Crosse.

As for the dots, I didn't know they were sulfur, but I just threw out a jar full of dead river water and it had the stink of an open sewer, with a slight odor of sulfur. Amazing what you can learn here. :)

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Post by Jbailey »

Thanks fellow microscopists.

My wife says the hay infusion smells quite rancid. My own interpretation is that it has no smell at all--Of course, I have no sense of smell remaining. A skunk could sneak up on me :lol:

This is a particularly productive hay infusion. I made it from a large hand full of damp, moldy straw plucked from a bale serving as temporary water runoff barrier.


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