Plant research

Did you know that methods and techniques for studying plant and animal tissue are often similar? To examine proteins on the microscopic level, processes to get tissue slices include fresh slicing, dehydration, fixation, and/or embedding for immunohistochemical analyses. This can apply to almost all plant parts, including leaves, stems, roots, seeds, and more. 

Common problems with getting plant slices

The old fashioned method of free-hand sectioning of plant tissue has been performed for a very long time. Free-hand sectioning is done with razor blades, but this is difficult to apply to plant samples that are hard to hold or manipulate. Vibratomes or vibrating microtomes and rotary microtomes can be an excellent tool for cutting plant tissue sections, and these machines help generate high quality thin sections. Certain plant parts are also made of harder materials, such as seeds or seed pods. Rotary microtomes are capable of cutting through much harder specimens and can be used to section those plant components.

Making better tissue slices for plant research

Preparation for plant slicing using a Compresstome®

Our Compresstome® tissue slicers and rotary microtomes have been developed and used extensively in plant research. In fact, there is even a simple published guide to use for cutting plant slices. Download this guide below:

Download Plant Sectioning Guide

Real lab examples of our microtomes for plant sectioning

A Simple Guide to the Use of Compresstome® in Plant Research

In this book chapter publication by Drs. Mohamed M. Mira, Edward C. Yeung, and Claudio Stasolla, the team describes a simple guide to use for cutting plant slices with the Compresstome® for research. Here, they summarize how to use the Compresstome® vibrating microtome to embed a plant sample. They are able to cut thin fresh plant tissue slices, which are then placed onto a glass slide for further experimental treatments. They are able to then visualize proteins as GFP signals in samples like corn roots.

Download Plant Sectioning Guide

References and Protocols

Microtomes from Precisionary Instruments have been used by labs around the world, and cited in hundreds of peer-reviewed publications. Explore these references by experiment, animal model, and organ system. For convenience, we also put together key experimental protocols to help you.