Welcome back to all of our visiting students viewing this page, you can see some more examples and download your images to keep below.
As part of our on going open days, visitors are able to come to the Bioimaging and Advanced Light Microscopy Facility to label some plant cells and view them on a laser scanning confocal microscope.
The cells come from a liquid culture of tobacco cells called BY2( Bright Yellow 2) and are already genetically modified to make a green protein which binds to microtubules, one of the filaments which make up the cytoskeleton or scaffolding within the cell. The protein used is a microtubule associated protein or MAP linked to green Fluorescent protein, GFP. GFP comes from jellyfish and when illuminated with a blue laser shines green.
Visiting students stain these cells by adding additional dyes including Mitotracker which labels mitochondria and glows red or Calcofluor which binds to plant cell walls causing them to glow blue. Calcoflour is often added to washing powders to make your whites whiter!
Visitors image their samples on a laser scanning confocal microscope which takes very clear and crisp pictures at different depths or slices through the cell (optical sectioning). This series of images are then reconstructed by the computer so that you can see and interact with the cell in 3D.
Here are movies of 3D reconstructions and image z stacks from the opendays
More fully volume rendered 3D models will be uploaded here soon....
Undergraduates can do a Biological Imaging field course of seminars and practicals covering a wide variety of imaging techniques, including advanced light microscopy and electron microscopy at level 3. Furthermore, depending on their choice of research project, they will have the opportunity to use these technologies to produce their own original data.