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Advantages of Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy in Studies of Microorganisms
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS
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Microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and microalgae, are composed predominantly of water which prohibits direct observation in a traditional scanning electron microscope SEM, Preparation for SEM requires that microorganisms be fixed, frozen or dehydrated, and coated with a conductive film before observation in a high vacuum environment. Sample preparation may mechanically disturb delicate samples, compromise morphological information, and introduce other artifacts. The environmental scanning electron microscope ESEM provides a technology for imaging hydrated or dehydrated or dehydrated biological samples with minimal manipulation and without the need for conductive coatings. Sporulating cultures of three fungi, Aspergillus sp., Cunninghamella sp., and Mucor sp., were imaged in the ESEM to assess usefulness of the instrument in the direct observation of delicate, uncoated, biological specimens. A sexual sporophores showed no evidence of conidial displacement or disruption of sporangia.... Biofouling, Corrosion, Biodeterioration, Electrochemistry.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE