This material is from the 4th edition of The Zebrafish Book. The 5th edition is available in print and within the ZFIN Protocol Wiki.


Paramecia Culture Medium

(Source: W. Driever and C. Boggs)

Preparation of paramecia culture medium:

The classical hay infusions are often unreliable (and tend to stink!) and some people have mixed results with mung beans or wheat. The following is a modification of an axenic method for growing paramecia (Schönefeld et al. J. Protozool. 33:222).

Schönefeld's Medium for growing paramecia:

Component; Concentration; Source

  • Powdered Skim Milk; 8.5 g/l; Any grocery store
  • Ribonucleic Acid; 1.0 g/l; Sigma R-6625
  • MgSO4; 0.5 g/l; Sigma M-2643
  • Phosphatidylcholine; 250 mg/l; Sigma P-5638
  • Stock Solution I; 5 ml/l
  • Stock Solution II; 2.5 ml/l
  • 1. Prepare the solution of primary components. Make sure the dry ingredients are well mixed before adding them with stirring to the water or the ribonucleic acid and the phosphatidylcholine will lump together and not dissolve. This solution can be heated slightly to help dissolve small lumps. Then add Stock Solutions I and II.

    Paramecia Medium Stock Solution I:

    Component; g/l in dH2O; Source

  • Calcium pantothenate; 1; Sigma P-2250
  • Nicotinamide; 1; Sigma N-3376
  • Riboflavin; 1; Sigma R-9881
  • Pyridoxamine HCL; 1.16; Sigma P-9158
  • Folic Acid; 0.5; Sigma F-7876
  • Thiamine HCL; 3; Sigma T-4625
  • Biotin; 0.00125; Sigma B-4639

  • (make 100x stock) Store at -20°C; the riboflavin is dispersed through-out the solution and will settle to the bottom. Shake well before using

    Paramecia Medium Stock Solution II

    Component; g/l in ETOH; Source

  • Stigmasterol; 2; Sigma S-6126
  • Lipoic Acid (Dl-6,8-thioctic acid); 0.02; Sigma T-1395
  • Palmitic Acid; 3; Sigma P-5917
  • Stearic Acid; 2; Sigma S-4751
  • Oleic Acid; 0.4; Sigma 0-4379
  • Linoleic Acid; 0.2; Sigma L-1376
  • Linolenic Acid; 0.06; Sigma L-2376
  • (Note: Blow nitrogen gas over the solution and store at -20°C)

    2. Adjust the pH of the medium to 7.2 at room temperature.

    3. Autoclave for 15 minutes in 500 ml aliquots (Some coagulation may occur, which is ok, but if too much of the milk precipitates, the paramecia will not grow).

    4. Test whether the medium is sterile and store in a refrigerator for up to several months.

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