Scanning Microscopy


Beech seedlings (Fagus Sylvatica) were grown in a nutrient solution to which AlCl3 had been added. The experiments were designed to evaluate the effect of aluminum on the localization of elements in plant root tissue. Cross-sections of roots were analyzed with micro-PIXE (particle induced X-ray emission) and Rutherford backscattering (RBS) simultaneously. A proton beam of either 30x30 μm2 or 5x5 μm2 was scanned over the samples, and quantitative elemental maps were created. Aluminum was found to accumulate in high concentrations (percent levels) in the epidermis and the outer layer of the cortex, when the nutrient solution held 1.0 mM AlCl3. It was also obvious that calcium was depleted where aluminum accumulated. The distribution of aluminum was inhomogeneous, and therefore, it was necessary to analyze the total area of the cross-section and not only look at a small part of it, for example along a diametrical line.

Included in

Biology Commons