Plant microtechnique has generated renewed interest in recent years, due in part to the need for molecular biologists to visualize a gene or gene product in the context of the whole plant. Plant Microtechnique and Microscopy offers uniquely in-depth coverage of this reinvigorated field. Thoroughly covering classical aspects of microscope slide preparation, it goes a step beyond all other available manuals by also documenting the theory and practice of modern applications.
The text opens with single-page "Quick Start" protocols that provide students with fundamental instructions to complete eight of the most common microtechnique protocols used today. The following sections cover the theory and practice of microtechnique. The traditional paraffin method is demonstrated by explicit step-by-step protocols, and theoretical background is incorporated to give students the tools required to design their own experiments and to interpret existing results. In addition, modern applications such as methacrylate embedding and sectioning, microwave tissue processing, fluorescence histochemistry, and in situ hybridization are discussed in detail. The manual also contains a definitive chapter on microscopy and describes, in both text and diagrams, the optical principles of techniques such as phase contrast and DIC as well as confocal and deconvolution wide-field microscopy. Appendices on laboratory practice (chemical toxicities, common calculations, and buffer tables), an extensive appendix on optics and its application to the microscope, and an extensive bibliography of over 550 references are also included. Ideal for courses in plant biology, Plant Microtechnique and Microscopy also serves as an indispensable reference for all students of microscopy, histology, and histological technique. It is a valuable addition to every biological laboratory.