|Whiteman Laboratory at the University of Arizona||
After a month, our plants in the common garden, which have been pre-treated with the plant hormone SA, plant hormone JA, infected with one of three strains of Pseudmonas or a mock solution are ready for implantation with Scaptomyza larvae for our herbivory bioassay. The point of this experiment it to understand how prior infection with bacteria influences subsequent susceptibility to herbivory--much like prior infection in humans leads to secondary infections...This requires finding larvae from host plants that are then transplanted into experimental plants at Emerald Lake.
Above, just as in any garden, there is a lot of tedious tending that is required...here Nicolas Alexandre (University of Arizona undergraduate researcher) and Noah Whiteman (University of Arizona assistant professor) work to transplant a larva into a common garden plant.
This larva has just been placed on this leaf--hopefully it will burrow in within an hour and start feeding.
Noah prepares to pass Nic a larva for transplantation, but first, Nic wants to tell a joke.
Above, two days after we have transplanted the larva, it has fed on the leaf tissue and is ready to be removed from common garden (above).
Michelle Smith (above) was an extremely talented student from Florida State University who helped us process the hundreds of leaves and larvae...
Above, a meeting of the minds in the common garden (Nic, Noah and Cole). What this really shows is Noah, the most senior member of the team, needing to stand because his legs are falling asleep.
Above, Nic, Noah and Cole after a long, cold day at the common garden, prepare to head down valley to process leaves in the lab.
Above, Noah and Nic contemplate how to navigate along the very narrow road down from Schofield Pass to the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL).
Above, back at RMBL in the Gothic Research Center, Nic places leaves with larvae on a sheet for processing. Each will be photographed and weighed.