Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2014 by our resident tinker, Michael Ralph. I think he was successful in staining chloroplasts, how about you?
I was pondering how to get a good look at plant cells with low cost, and I thought about Brad’s work with onion root tips in visualizing mitotic cells. Check out his original post here. The thought occurred to me that the fixative should dissolve inter-cellular connections in leaf tissue the same as root tissue, so I gave a section of grocery store spinach tissue the same 6 minute warm fixative bath. The tissue flattened nicely (more or less), but I couldn’t see much in the way of cell definition. Sticking with the theme, I grabbed the aceto-orcein stain because it was already handy. Here’s what I saw:
The remarkable definition in the organelle structure was surprising. Aceto-orcein binds DNA, so what would produce such well-defined structures that contain DNA. How about chloroplasts?
Let me know in the comments section: chloroplasts or not? Alternative explanations?