Spring.wmf (18300 bytes) Plant Physiology (Biology 327)  - Dr. Stephen G. Saupe;  College of St. Benedict/ St. John's University;  Biology Department; Collegeville, MN  56321; (320) 363 - 2782; (320) 363 - 3202, fax;    ssaupe@csbsju.edu

Techniques to View Stomata

I.  Making an Epidermal Leaf Peel

  1. Cut the epidermis between the major lateral veins along three sides of rectangle (approx. 2 x 3 mm) with a razor blade.
  2. Make the cuts shallow so they do not go through the leaf.  These cuts will serve to bound the sides of the leaf strip.  
  3. Insert a fine-tipped jewelers forceps (handle with care) just beneath the epidermis in the middle of the uncut end of the rectangle.
  4. Grasp the tissue firmly and pull.  

Note:  The lower epidermis generally strips more easily than the upper epidermis.  Some species are more difficult to strip than others.  Vicia faba (broad bean) and Zebrina sp. (Wandering Jew) are especially easy to peel. 

II.  Other Techniques  
aint clear nail polish on the leaf surface and allow it to dry.  To remove the leaf "cast", use a piece of clear cellophane tape which can then be taped to a microscope slide for viewing.  In some cases, it is even possible to apply the tape directly to the leaf, rub it down and then remove it and transfer it to a microscope slide.

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Last updated:  01/07/2009     � Copyright  by SG Saupe