Preparation of Microfungi for Scanning Electron Microscopy

  • Garry T. Cole


The scanning electron microscope (SEM) has broad applications to fungal research but has been particularly valuable for taxonomic and developmental studies of microfungi (Moore and Grand, 1970; Cole and Behnke, 1975; Cole, 1976, 1979, 1981a; O’Donnell, 1979). As in other biological disciplines, SEM images at the outset generated widespread aesthetic appeal, as well as skepticism among investigators “who saw little application in a device the main function of which was to produce snapshots of surfaces” (Heslop-Harrison, 1979). During the early 1970s, however, such skepticism was largely put to rest with the development of high-resolution SEMs and scanning-transmission electron microscopes (STEMs) (Crewe, 1971, 1979) capable of providing structural data that previously were obtained only from thin sections and surface replicas of samples examined in the transmission electron microscope. Recognition that interaction between the incident electron beam and biological substrate yields many different signals (e. g., X-rays, backscattered electrons, cathodoluminescence) led to the development of the analytical STEM (Venables, 1976; Reimer, 1976) and a plethora of new information was made available to the researcher. The technological boom in ultrastructural instrumentation witnessed in the 1970s, however, confronted many workers with an “embarrassment of hardware” in that the “general corpus of knowledge of the time was inadequate for their full exploitation in application…” to investigations of the biological material of interest (Heslop-Harrison, 1979).


Conidiogenous Cell Chemical Fixation Preparatory Procedure Amyl Acetate Conidial Fungus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Garry T. Cole
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of TexasAustinUSA

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