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Bulletin of Botanical Research ›› 2005, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (3): 307-310.doi: 10.7525/j.issn.1673-5102.2005.03.015

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Methods of maceration and microscopical analysis on cuticle

MA Qing-Wen1, ZHANG Xiu-Sheng2, LI Feng-Lan1   

  1. 1. College of Biological Sciences and Technology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083;
    2. College of Agriculture Sciences, Liaocheng University, Liaocheng 252059
  • Received:2004-11-16 Online:2005-09-15 Published:2016-06-14

Abstract: Cuticles are usually very resistant and can be isolated from the fossil specimens. Several methods of maceration can be applied in preparation of fossil cuticles. Maceration in Schulze's reagent is the most common procedure and it is the most critical step in the methods. The cuticles may be destroyed by strong maceration solution with longer time. The use of microscopy of phase-contrast is very useful for very thin cuticles as it shows greater contrast.The use of differential-interference is better than use of microscopy of phase-contrast for these thin cuticles, for it enhances the relief and makes fine structures visible. Fluorescence microscopy has the advantage that no maceration procedure is necessary and so the specimens are not damaged. Scanning electron microscopy is an essential and supplementary method in the analysis of cuticles for it produces high resolution, scientifically informative, three-dimensional images.

Key words: maceration, microscopy, cuticle