Scanning Microscopy


Dry seeds placed in an aqueous solution take up water, swell, and leak potassium and a variety of other materials into the solution. It is likely that much of the potassium is from the cell walls. Neutron activation analysis was used to measure the concentration of potassium leaked from both squash embryos and carrot mericarps that had been soaked in solutions of different water content. The cell walls in dry seed tissues are often wrinkled, whereas imbibed tissues have smooth cell walls. Cryogenic preparation for scanning electron microscopy was used to study the degree of cell wall wrinkling in the seed tissues at different hydration levels. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the degree of cell wall wrinkling was related to the leakage of potassium. It was found that the amount of potassium leaked into the soaking solutions was not directly related to the degree of wrinkling of the cell walls.

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