A two-step replica technique has been developed for sequential study of the epidermal cell pattern of a living plant by scanning electron microscopy. This method is nondestructive, allows periodic high resolution observation of the same developing tissue, and can precede use of any destructive technique, such as transmission electron microscopy. The replicas can be trimmed allowing observation of occluded surfaces, such as the areas between leaves, which are inaccessible in continuousin vivo studies. Here we study the developing leaf primordium ofGraptopetalum and discuss potential uses of the technique.
Cell patternsGraptopetalumNondestructiveReplicaScanning electron microscopy