Teaching histology (plant tissue) using foldscope.

 

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As a Biology teacher, I do believe students do not only love but also need to learn by discovering Nature by themselves. Foldscope can make this  goal realistic. This is an example of what they did a few days ago. Students (11 th grade) were learning about plant tissues, especifically about epidermal tissues. This array of examples made understanding pretty easy and encouraging. With the foldscope I have, we shot some images and videos and wanted to share them with you

 

We used flowers and leaves from a species of Freesia. Next images and video show epidermal cells and guard cells of the leaves. Contrary to what we expected, epidermal cells were multinuclear. They ressembled a jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces were different. From the video you can observe some exhibited two nuclei, others three ( which seemed so queer,…).

 

 

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In case there were thin cell walls we could not see, they stained some samples with methilene blue, and found nothing clearer.

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They also saw the epidermis from the petals and proved it showed no stoma. Their shape had no relationship with the previous observed.

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Later on, we observed hair- like extensions (trichoma)  beautifully arranged in the stigma and ready to capture pollen grains

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Al these types of cells were observed all together  in an african violet leaf.

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They stained it and enjoyed the beautiful architecture of cells.

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Finally, they prepared a flower sample of a fountain grass plant and realised  trichomes can harden their cell walls and act as microscopic thorns, an adaptation to increase dissemination efficiency.

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Cristina Bosch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    @Cristina: What an incredible collection. It’s so wonderful to see this data. I am amazed by all of them; almost a pebble street like formulation of the epidermis and the beautiful solidified trichomes; the branching of the trichomes ready to catch a pollen – what a wonderful juxtaposition.

    How many students do you work with? You are inspiring not just your students but all the foldscope users around the world. How many Foldscope do you have; maybe we should send you a few more for your students to keep exploring.

    Welcome to the Foldscope community – thrilled to see your work here.

    cheers
    manu

  2. María Cristina Bosch Esteva says:

    Dear Manu Prakash,

    Thanks so, so much for your words! I am very grateful for the opportunity to use this incredible and revolutionary tool!

    I work with almost one hundred students and we only have one foldscope. Therefore, it would be absolutely amazing and promising to have some more!!!!! Thank you!!!

  3. laksiyer says:

    Hi Cristina: These are some of the best epidermal peels I have seen. Is there a special technique you used. They are simply delightful and also the wonderful trichomes that bring out the nature of the trichome and number of cells in them. Cant wait to see more from you and your students.

  4. Cristina Bosch says:

    @ manu: I work with almost one hundred students and we only have one foldscope. Therefore, it would be absolutely amazing to have some more!!!!! Thank you!!!

    @laksiyer: we peeled off the epidermis using tweezers and placed it on a glass slide unfolding it as much as possible, added a drop of water and a coverslide.

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