Staining the mycorrhizal tissue within the plants roots allows you to easily see them with a compound microscope, and appreciate the structures (vesicles and arbuscules) the fungi form within the root tissues .
This activity focuses on just 2 interactions between soil bacteria and Red Clover, to show how the two work together and support each other.
We can examine plant roots easily by exposing a face of soil and looking at the mat of interwoven roots that descend down the soil profile.
The tips of the roots produce the most sugars so you tend to see a higher and more diverse community of organisms. These bacterial communities fluctuate along the length of the root as each area provides a different niche.
This activity allows participants to locate, extract and cultivate the bacterium located in root nodules.