Scanning Electron Microscopy


The applications of x-ray microanalysis in botanical research are reviewed, and the special problems posed in the preparation and analysis of botanical specimens and in the interpretation of results discussed. There are four main areas of research employing x-ray microanalysis:

1. effects of salinity on plants: examination of ion distributions in leaves and roots of both salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive higher plants and salt-tolerant algae and fungi;

2. effects of pollutants on plants: localization of heavy metals, particularly Pb, Cd, and Al, in algae, lichens and higher plants;

3. distributions of silicon in higher plants: silica distribution in roots and shoots, and medical implications of silica in caryopses of grasses; use of monosilicic acid as a water tracer;

4. elemental compositions of seeds and protein bodies: elemental contents of seed protein bodies from a variety of species, and effects of Fe3+ on germination.

A number of miscellaneous applications of x-ray microanalysis are also discussed, including: 1. evaluation and development of preparation and analysis techniques; 2. lower plants: dinoflagellates, fungi, algae; 3. roots: ion uptake and transport; and 4. shoots: elemental distributions, chloroplasts, stomata, pulvini.

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