Skip to main content
Log in

Polychromatic staining of plant cell walls by toluidine blue O

  • Published:
Protoplasma Aims and scope Submit manuscript


  1. 1.

    The polychromatic staining of plant cell walls by toluidine blue O is described and illustrated.

  2. 2.

    The effects of various common fixatives and the effects of the pH of the staining solution are evaluated.

  3. 3.

    Simple and rapid procedures are described for preparing stained temporary mounts of fresh material, or permanent mounts of embedded and sectioned material.

  4. 4.

    The relationship between the polychromatic staining observed and the lignification of the walls is discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Barghoorn, E. S., 1948: Sodium chlorite as an aid in paleobotanical and anatomical study of plant tissues. Science107, 480–481.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bergeron, J. A., and M. Singer. 1958: Metachromasy: an experimental and theoretical reevaluation. J. Biophys. Biochem. Cytol.4, 433–457.

    Google Scholar 

  • Czaja, A. Th., 1930: Untersuchungen über metachromatische Färbungen von Pflanzengeweben. 1. Substantive Farbstoffe. Planta11, 582–626.

    Google Scholar 

  • —, 1934: Untersuchungen über nietachromatische Färbungen von Pflanzengeweben. II. Basische Farbstoffe. Planta21, 531–601.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jensen, W. A., 1962: Botanical histochemistry. p. 197. W. H. Freeman & Co.

  • Johansen, D. A., 1940: Plant microtechnique, p. 194. McGraw-Hill Book Co.

  • Sidman, R. L., P. A. Mott1a, and N. Feder. 1961: Improved polyester wax embedding for histology. Stain Tech.36, 279–284.

    Google Scholar 

  • Spurr, A. R., 1954: Polyvinyl alcohol with cadmium iodide and fructose as an aqueous mounting medium. Stain Tech.29, 301–313.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

O'Brien, T.P., Feder, N. & McCully, M.E. Polychromatic staining of plant cell walls by toluidine blue O. Protoplasma 59, 368–373 (1964).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: