Levels of mineral nutrients in fresh- and frozen bulk hydrated biological specimens: A comparison of EDS data collected in the environmental SEM and a conventional cryo-SEM

Louise M. Egerton-Warburton*, Brendon J. Griffin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDS) was compared in fresh- and frozen bulk hydrated tissues using the Environmental SEM (ESEM) and conventional cryo-SEM, respectively. Analyses of globoid inclusions of Eucalyptus calophylla seed from two soil types demontsrated that higher levels of cations (K, Ca, Mg, Al, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn) occurred in seeds from soils containing higher levels of Al, while EDS-detectable levels of S and P were dependent upon the techniques utilised. Cumulative changes in ESEM-EDS-detectable levels of S and P were characterised by collecting cumulative spectra from nutrient standards and compared with those for K. Progressive increases in K occurred and were consistent with an enriching effect. Levels of S and P increased during early analysis (40-60 sec live time) and decreased thereafter. The semi-conductive nature of biological samples, the loss of anions and gain of cations from the net negatively-charged electron interaction volume contributed to an electrochemical bias. These local modifications in fluid chemistry were reversible. Dehydration effects also occurred in stable, "wet' samples. These differences indicated that EDS in ESEM may be limited to cations rather than anions, and that changes in fluid electrochemistry and dehydration may affect the level and distribution of elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-612
Number of pages6
JournalMicron
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

Keywords

  • EDS
  • ESEM
  • X-ray microanalysis
  • cryo-SEM
  • ion migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Cell Biology

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