Carbon dioxide sinks


Yesterday,  whilst I was strolling in my city , I found some spiderwort species growing vigorously nearby and instantly

reminded that once,  in a past microcosmos post, I had read it was an ideal candidate to observe meiosis. As it is obvious, my plan will have to wait until it begins to blossom but, in the meantime, I felt curious about its colourful leaves. After grabbing some of them (😇😇, feeling a little bit guilty but knowing it was worth doing it 🔬😉), and when I got  back home, I got my Foldscope and began solving this new inquiry.

This is what I saw:  epidermal cells and beautiful stomata amongst them. To my surprise, some (four?) subsidiary cells sorround the two guard cells that  make an stomata, a fact I did not know before this observation.

I hope you can distinguish the vast array of chloroplasts inside the guard cells. Nevertheless, I decided to try with the high magnification lens and see what I was so lucky to watch!

The guard cells bulge and control the aperture between them (in black).

I wanted to better distinguish each cell using a blue food dye, but it was not useful.

Finally, I decided to try a very thin “loaf” of one leaf in my Foldscope, and saw this absolutely amazing  scaffolding of cells .


This arrangement lets them  funtion as living factories of the mollecules of life. In this orchestra of  cells, stomata act as carbon dioxide sinks. A lot to think about this!

Happy new year and thanks for reading!

Cristina Bosch







2 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    @Cristina: this is one of the most beautiful plant biology foldscope post I have seen in 2017!! What a way to end the year. Wow wow wow.

    So much to think about. So much packed in a single sample. I am just floored!

    You are a foldscope master 😉 thanks for inspiring thousands to learn from you. A heartfelt thank you for being such an incredible spirit in the foldscope community. May the new year bring ever more discoveries your way!!


  2. laksiyer says:

    Absolutely mind-blowing videos. I wish my hands were as steady. The subsidiary cells are never brought up and here you have evidence of their presence.

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