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Thread: Mother-of-cider & Alveolar Structures

  1. #1 Mother-of-cider & Alveolar Structures 
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    Dec 2009

    We are a group of French students carrying out a comparative analysis between the mother-of-cider and the mother-of-wine-vinegar within the framework of a university report. Having colored a fresh and superficiel mother of cider with a alum carmine solution (reddens cellulose), we've observed strange structures from MO x100 to x1000. These alveolar structures show refringence phenomenons when at G>x400, with concentric circles. Our hypothesises are the following ones:

    1/ Either it is cellulose outgrowth from Acetobacter bacteria, showing rythmic growth (cf. amylopast structure). The deep brown-purple coloration should confirm this hypothesis, however, some diffraction phenomenons on the surface tend to suggest that these alveolar structures are empty or full with a homogeneous liquid.

    2/ Or it is gaps that have been filled with the alum carmine solution and haven't emptied. Optic phenomenons that range from diffraction at the surface to concentric circles (refraction?) could confirm it. However, why is it coloured? Why do these "bubbles" adopt the exact geometry of the bacteria above them? Why these circles? Are gaps appearances of the bubbles of CO2 from the cider, which could have been enclosed in a gelatinous secretion (peptidic? notice it is very, very slightly reddened)?

    What's sure is that those structures aren't superficial but in volume. Here are three series of microscopic photos shot at different locations of the mother. Each serie is composed of photos of the same portion of the mother but at different depths of focus. From left to right, we go deeper into the mother.


    Click to show it all.

    We're looking forward to reading your views, this is of tremendous importance for the following of our studies,

    Many thanks for your help,

    Bruyas, Martin, Deluermoz, Tournebize
    PS. Sorry if the English has been mistreated...

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