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SEM of root hairs

Nicolas Baumberger nbaumber at botinst.unizh.ch
Wed Mar 15 07:55:21 EST 2000


Dear netters,
I would like to make scanning electron microscope pictures of
Arabidopsis root hairs grown on vertical MS plate. Unfortunately so far
I was never able to preserve the fine and delicate structure of the root
hairs. The main difficulty is that a loss of humidity of the air during
manipulation destroys the hairs in a matter of seconds. We tried to
freeze them in liquid nitrogen slush and do the observation in a SEM  at
low temperature but the short time needed (15-30 seconds) to transfer
the root in the freezing device was already too long for most of the
root hairs. In addition we had a lot of ice crystals at the surface of
the specimen which was difficult to sublime. We also tried to fix them 2
h with OsO4 vapors in a humid chamber followed by dehydration in acetone
but this too destroyed the hairs. I am desperatly looking for any advice
and trick  to make SEM observation of delicate structure like root
hairs.
Thanks for any answer.

--
Nicolas Baumberger
Institute of Plant Biology, University of Zürich
Zollikerstr.107, CH- 8008 ZURICH, Switzerland
Tel: 41-1-6348232
Fax: 41-1-6348257
Email: nbaumber at botinst.unizh.ch


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