Application of SEM and EDX in studying biomineralization in plant tissues

H. He, Lyn Kirilak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter describes protocols using formalin-acetic acid-alcohol (FAA) to fix plant tissues for studying biomineralization by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and qualitative energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX). Specimen preparation protocols for SEM and EDX mainly include fixation, dehydration, critical point drying (CPD), mounting, and coating. Gold-coated specimens are used for SEM imaging, while gold- and carbon-coated specimens are prepared for qualitative X-ray microanalyses separately to obtain complementary information on the elemental compositions of biominerals. During the specimen preparation procedure for SEM, some biominerals may be dislodged or scattered, making it diffi cult to determine their accurate locations, and light microscopy is used to complement SEM studies. Specimen preparation protocols for light microscopy generally include fixation, dehydration, infi ltration and embedding with resin, microtome sectioning, and staining. In addition, microwave processing methods are adopted here to speed up the specimen preparation process for both SEM and light microscopy. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectron Microscopy: Methods and Protocols
EditorsJ. Kuo
PublisherHumana Press
ISBN (Print)9781627037754
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology


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