A simple, rapid method to isolate salt glands for three-dimensional visualization, fluorescence imaging and cytological studiesReport as inadecuate

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Plant Methods

, 6:24

First Online: 19 October 2010Received: 08 September 2010Accepted: 19 October 2010


BackgroundSome plants inhabiting saline environment remove salts via the salt glands embedded in the epidermal tissues. Cytological studies of salt glands will provide valuable information to our understanding of the secretory process. Previous studies on salt gland histology relied mainly on two-dimensional microscopic observations of microtome sections. Optical sectioning properties of confocal laser scanning microscope offer alternative approach for obtaining three-dimensional structural information of salt glands. Difficulty in light penetration through intact leaves and interference from neighbouring leaf cells, however, impede the acquiring of good optical salt gland sections and limit its applications in salt gland imaging. Freeing the glands from adjacent leaf tissues will allow better manipulations for three-dimensional imaging through confocal laser scanning microscopy.

ResultsHere, we present a simple and fast method for the isolation of individual salt glands released from the interference of neighbouring cells. About 100-200 salt glands could be isolated from just one cm of Avicenniaofficinalis leaf within hours and microscopic visualization of isolated salt glands was made possible within a day. Using these isolated glands, confocal laser scanning microscopic techniques could be applied and better resolution salt gland images could be achieved. By making use of their intrinsic fluorescent properties, optical sections of the gland cells could be acquired without the use of fluorescent probes and the corresponding three-dimensional images constructed. Useful cytological information of the salt gland cells could also be obtained through the applications of fluorescent dyes e.g., LysoTracker Red, FM4-64, Texas Red.

ConclusionsThe study of salt glands directly at the glandular level are made possible with the successful isolation of these specialized structures. Preparation of materials for subsequent microscopic observations of salt glands could be achieved within a day. Potential applications of confocal fluorescence microscopic techniques could also be performed using these isolated glands. Experiments designed and targeted directly at the salt glands were explored and cytological information obtained herein could be further incorporated towards the understanding of the mechanism underlying secretion in plant salt glands.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1746-4811-6-24 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Wee-Kee Tan - Tit-Meng Lim - Chiang-Shiong Loh

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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