In order to keep a lab going, one needs a lot of protocols! And a lot of dedication, too. Here is a brief compendium of useful protocols for the keeping of and working with Macrostomum. For it to be up-to-date and more useful, send your own methods, modifications, etc. to me.
The protocols are ordered by area, as below. You can reach any of these pages via the menu at the top of the page.
Before attempting to culture Macrostomum or work with live specimens, or if you're experiencing problems, please download and read the general MacLab guidelines thoroughly and make sure that they are followed.
all methods in this website, with (some) downloadable pdfs.
Macrostomum culturing, algae, media, etc.
gDNA extraction protocols: cheap for microsats, pure for next generation sequencing and de-novo sequencing.
dehydration, infiltration and embedding for serial sectioning
In Situ Hybridization
Morphometry & Behaviour (Coming soon!)
Standardized measurements of worms, their organs, and their behaviour.
Field Sampling (Coming soon!)
Collection of specimens, standardized description of sites.
Small things that make a big difference.
It is very important to work in a clean way when working with cultured animals. Cultures are perfect places for pathogens to grow, as they have organisms to be parasitised, and good growing conditions. It would be disastrous if pathogens were to enter the cultures. And even more disastrous if they influence the outcome of experiments. It is difficult to avoid completely, but here are some guidelines to greatly reduce the risk:
Working space should ALWAYS be cleaned with alcohol, before and after working. This includes table, binocular, non-disposable utensils that are likely to get in contact with the worms or their containers.
Field-collected worms should be kept as isolated from the main cultures as possible. After working with such worms, clean (of course) the working space, and your hands with alcohol. Dispose of any disposable material used.
Anything suspicious (dishes with bacteria, dying or sick worms, unhealthy algae, etc.) should be kept closed and preferably in an isolated box. When disposing, rinse with abundant fresh (tap) water, and wash as soon as possible.