Imaging and Analysis
Imaging and Analysis focuses on:
Most of the microscopes at RBGE are low power stereo dissectors necessary as tools for taxonomic classification.
There is also a suite of research grade compound microscopes used for techniques such as phase contrast; dark field; differential interference contrast and epi-fluorescence.
The microscopy lab is used for cytology and morphological studies while the histology lab accommodates freezing, sledge and rotary microtomes and is equipped for both paraffin wax and resin embedding.
For RBGE's botanists access to the scanning electron microscope provides an opportunity to study plant surface structure in minute detail. This facility assists the taxonomist in the identification and classification of species and is particularly useful when the characters cannot be seen with the naked eye.
These characters might include the presence or absence of hairs; the pattern of stomata on a leaf or perhaps the appearance of leaf scales. Besides taxonomy, some people are interested in developmental botany, studying plants from their earliest stages to look at things like the embryo, pollen structure and flower anatomy.
There have been scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) at RBGE since 1974. The LEO Supra 55VP is the fourth and, unlike its predecessors, it has a field emission gun that produces a beam 1000x brighter than the conventional SEM. This means that delicate material can be observed at lower voltages without loss of detail. It also enhances depth of field and greatly improves resolution, magnifying up to 900,000 times. In addition, the Supra has a variable pressure option for viewing unprepared material to observe structures that might be lost through normal processing.
- Facilities for Paraffin & Technovit Resin Embedding
- Freezing, Sledge & Rotary Microtomes
- Research Microscopes with Digital Cameras & Imaging Software
- Facilities for Scanning Electron Microscope Preparation
- LEO Supra 55VP Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope