The Zeiss Axioplan is an older instrument that remains a solid and reliable observation device. This upright light microscope stand is equipped for transmitted and epi-fluorescent illumination and is specialized for differential interference contrast (DIC), polarized, and darkfield modes. Plan Neofluar and Plan Apochromatic objectives at 1.25x 0.03NA, 5x 0.12NA, 10x 0.3NA, 20x 0.45NA, 40x 0.85NA, and 63x 1.4NA (oil) provide an ideal range of magnification options with excellent optical performance. An optivar with 1.25x, 1.5x, and 2.0x settings allow additional increases in magnification. Polarization image mode is enhanced by addition of a removable lambda phase plate.
Epi-Fluorescent Filter Sets. Filter cubes purchased from Semrock, Chroma Technology Corp. and Carl Zeiss, Inc. for DAPI, GFP, and Rhodamine, provide a range of opportunities for single or multi-label fluorescent samples. An EXFO X-cite 120 XL light source provides fluorescent illumination.
Digital Cameras. Two digital cameras are available, enabling color or monochromatic image capture. A Zeiss AxioCam ICc5 is available for color image capture. This camera provides 12-bit color images using a 5 megapixel chip with pixels that are 3.45 microns2. Using microscanning technology, images can be acquired at variable resolutions between 1920 x 1080 and 2452 x 2056. Binning and subarray readouts are also possible enabling readout rates of 15 frames per second.
AxioCam Icc5 Specs
A Hamamatsu Orca C4742-80-12AG digital camera provides high-performance 12-bit monochromatic digital image capture. This camera has a 1.37 megapixel progressive-scan interline CCD chip. With pixels that are 6.45 microns2, an effective pixel area of 8.67mm x 6.60mm, a dynamic range of 3000:1, and a quantum efficiency exceeding 70% in the visible spectrum, this camera delivers excellent spatial resolution and excellent sensitivity in low-light imaging situations. Images are previewed, acquired, processed, and analyzed using Media Cybernetic’s Image Pro Plus 6.2.
Imaging Software. Zen Lite and Image Pro Plus 6.2 are available for image processing and analysis functions. These programs allow processing functions including spatial filtering, background subtraction, and pseudo-coloring, as well as analysis functions including counting, intensity, and area measurements.
Funding Support. The acquisition of the monochromatic digital cameras was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation (PI: McCauley). Funds from the Biology department supported the purchase of the AxioCam ICc5 color digital camera.
Role of Auxin in Lateral Root Formation.
The laboratory of Dr. Gloria Muday studies the roles of plant hormones in guiding root growth and development. Using a combination of DIC imaging and chromagenic genetic reporters, they have used the upright microscope to study the initiation and development of lateral roots in Arabidopsis.
Differences in stomatal density due to climate and habitat.
The laboratories of Dr. Bill Smith and Dr. Michael Anderson are interested in studying the number and distribution of stomata in various plant species to investigate changes in climate and the impact of differing habitats on plant physiology. By making leaf peels from samples collected in the wild, students in these laboratories have used DIC imaging on the upright microscope to visualize stomata.