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What does mould eat?

Year 10 SRP
by

Oliver Thompson

on 26 May 2013

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Transcript of What does mould eat?

What affects the Growth rate of Mould? What Does Mould Eat? What is Mould? Mould are microorganisms associated with the vast kingdom of Fungi, which are all made of eukaryotic cells; other members of this kingdom include yeast and mushrooms. There are thousands of species that have adopted the name “Mould” and these can be broken down into a few groups: saprotrophs, mesophiles, psychrophiles and thermophiles. All of these aid in the breakdown of organic material in the environment although now they exist everywhere in every household whether or not you can see them. What does Mould eat? Mould will “eat” any organic material, that is, one of which contains carbon atoms, as this organic material will supply the mould with enough energy to grow. Mould will grow rapidly given any source of food, especially one like bread, which is high in carbohydrates. Mould will also grow extensively on other types of organic materials that you might think odd, such as your carpet, drywall and even clothes. The main constants between any growths of mould are water or moisture and the carbon atoms.
Mold Word Equation:
Glucose + Oxygen → Carbon dioxide + Water + Energy
Mould Chemical Equation:
C6H12O6 + 602 → 6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy (approx. 3000kJ of energy is released) My Experiment AIM: To understand what it is that mould thrives upon. Some Results Discussion & Conclusion At the beginning of this experiment I was sceptical as to how fast the mould would grow, even if any mould would grow. This was because I didn’t comprehend and understand how active and vigorous mould spores, that surround us in the atmosphere, could be. Although I only left the moist bread on the kitchen table for 5 minutes, at least 10 different species of mould quickly took to the bread as their new home; spreading rapidly and carelessly.After the first couple days it appeared that all bread types where a slight pinkish colour but it did not look like mould. It wasn’t until the 4th day when mould colonies became noticeable. Almost immediately similar mould colonies began to grow on almost every piece of bread and new species would often appear at the same time on different bread types. In the days that followed, patterns emerged where the mould on different types of bread would go through fast growing “growth spurts” or slow growing “dormant periods”.Initially it appeared that white bread was the outstanding leader in mould growth, followed by the wholemeal bread; the wholegrain and gluten free bread started substantially slower and I was doubtful about their success. However, as time elapsed the white bread’s mould growth slowed and, by the end, almost halted. Gluten free bread was the new stand out although that was short lived as the wholemeal bread sprung to life with mould colonies growing rapidly over a relatively short period. The gluten free and wholemeal bread where neck and neck, constantly overtaking each other, and in the end it was hard to judge which had the most mould so they tied. Over the whole experiment the wholegrain bread had relatively little and slow mould growth; it always had the least amount of mould colonies until the last couple of days when it started to grow more rapidly and overtook the white bread.In my results I only used one photo per bread type every second day. This is all that was necessary as all 3 pieces of all types of bread had very similar mould growth and the species and amount of each. There were no exemptions for this over the course of the experiment.To improve and make this experiment more reliable you could follow a similar procedure but instead of using bread, you could use the base products such as sugar, salt, animal fat and protein. This would give you more accurate results and would lead to more conclusive findings. MATERIALS:
-3 slices of 4 different types of bread (eg. White, gluten free, wholegrain and wholemeal)
-12 zip lock bags
-1 Tablespoon
-Water
-Magnifying glass
-Gas mask (particle rated)
-Rubber gloves
-Dark cupboard at room temperature HYPOTHESIS: Mould will grow more rapidly on the breads higher in sugar as it is less complex and easier to break down, breads high in salt will have less mould as most mould does not like to grow in saline environments. METHOD:
1. Separate 3 slices of 4 different types of bread and lay them on a bench.2. Leave them on the bench exposed to mould spores in the air for 10 minutes.3. Whilst waiting, prepare 12 zip lock bags with a tablespoon of water in each.4. After 10 minutes, place 1 piece of bread in each zip lock bag.5. Place all pieces of bread in a dark cupboard at room temperature.6. Observe, taking photos or sketches as well as comments about the mould growth over a 10 day period.7. If a specimen is becoming dry, first put on your gas mask and gloves and add 1 tablespoon of water.8. Reseal and place back in cupboard.
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