A convenient sample preparation protocol for scanning electron microscope examination of xylem-occluding bacterial biofilm on cut flowers and foliage

Ratnayake, Kamani, Joyce, Daryl C. and Webb, Richard I. (2012) A convenient sample preparation protocol for scanning electron microscope examination of xylem-occluding bacterial biofilm on cut flowers and foliage. Scientia Horticulturae, 140 : 12-18.


Author Ratnayake, Kamani
Joyce, Daryl C.
Webb, Richard I.
Title A convenient sample preparation protocol for scanning electron microscope examination of xylem-occluding bacterial biofilm on cut flowers and foliage
Journal name Scientia Horticulturae   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0304-4238
Publication date 2012-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.scienta.2012.03.012
Volume 140
Start page 12
End page 18
Total pages 7
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Microbes and their exopolysaccharides (EPS) can block xylem vessels, thereby increasing the hydraulic resistance and decreasing the vase life of cut flowers and foliage. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) provides a powerful tool for investigation of bacteria-induced xylem occlusion. However, conventional preparation protocols for SEM involving chemicals can cause loss of hydrated EPS material, and thereby damage the bacterial biofilms during dehydration. A modified chemical fixation protocol involving pre-fixation with 75. mM lysine plus 2.5% glutaraldehyde followed by the normal fixation in 3% glutaraldehyde was, therefore, tested for improved preservation of bacterial biofilm at the stem-ends of cut . Acacia holosericea foliage stems. Stem-end segments with different stages of bacterial growth were obtained from stems stood into water. The lysine-based protocol was compared with four other processing protocols of critical point drying (CPD) without fixation (control), freeze-drying (FD), conventional chemical fixation followed by drying with hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS), and conventional chemical fixation with CPD. The non-fixed control, FD and the glutaraldehyde fixation with HMDS drying gave poor preservation of hydrated material, including bacterial EPS. Conventional glutaraldehyde fixation followed by CPD was superior to these three methods in terms of better preserving the EPS. However, this fourth method gave condensation of biofilms during dehydration. In contrast, the modified lysine-based protocol resulted in superior preservation of EPS and biofilm structure. Thus, this fifth method was the most appropriate for examination of bacterial stem-end blockage in cut ornamentals.
Keyword Acacia
Bacteria
Dehydration
Exopolysaccharides
Fixative
Lysine
Sem
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online: 13 April 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2013 Collection
Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis Publications
 
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