A new method to obtain good anatomical slides of heterogeneous plant parts

In: IAWA Journal
Free access

A new method is presented to prepare anatomical slides of plant materials including a combination of soft and hard tissues, such as stems with cambial variants, arboreal monocotyledons, and tree bark. The method integrates previous techniques aimed at softening the samples and making them thereby more homogeneous, with the use of anti-tearing polystyrene foam solution. In addition, we suggest two other alternatives to protect the sections from tearing: adhesive tape and/or Mayer’s albumin adhesive, both combined with the polystyrene foam solution. This solution is cheap and easy to make by dissolving any packaging polystyrene in butyl acetate. It is applied before each section is cut on a sliding microtome and ensures that all the tissues in the section will hold together. This novel microtechnical procedure will facilitate the study of heterogeneous plant portions, as shown in some illustrated examples.

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