EXAMINATION OF THE CUTICULAR SURFACES OF FRESH DELICATE LEAVES AND PETALS WITH A SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE: A CONTROL FOR ARTEFACTS

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Summary

The cuticle surfaces of fresh, uncoated petals of Nicotiana alata Link & Otto and leave of Phaseolus coccineus L., Coleus blumei Benth. and Dactylis glomerata L. were examined in a canning electron microscope using a range of accelerating voltages, beam currents and recording scan times. The best micrographs of undamaged and unwrinkled cuticles, taken at magnifications ranging from 500 to 5000. were-obtained using an accelerating voltage of 10kV, a low beam current and a recording scan time of 40 s. Fixation of the cuticles with osmium tetroxide vapour neither reduced charging nor improved preservation.

The examination of the fresh uncoated cuticles proved an acceptable check or control for other methods used to prepare the auricles for scanning elecrron microscopy.

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