Strobilus: How to study under a microscope

The strobilus - For longitudinal sections, cut a slab from each side of the strobilus to insure fixing and infiltration. If a strobilus, or similar organ, is simply halved, both pieces are likely to curve. Among north temperature species, Lycopodium inundatum is the most easily cut. A young strobilus 1 cm. in length may show all stages from the archesporium to the spore mother-cell. Iron-haematoxylin is the best stain for differentiating the archesporial cells. The divisions in the spore mother-cell stain intensely, so that care must be taken not to overstain.

Strobili of Lycopodium dendroideum or L. obscurum 6 or 7 mm. in length show a beautiful series in the development of the sporangium from the earliest stages up to tetrads. These young stages fix well in chromo-acetic acid, with or without a little osmic acid.

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