Phloem pp 73-79 | Cite as

Methods of Phloem Visualization: A Clear Future in Sight?

  • Elisabeth TruernitEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2014)


There have been exciting new results in phloem research in recent years, at least in part made possible by the rapid advancement of microscopic techniques. Several methods for visualizing phloem cells are available. The suitability of each method depends on the organ and species being studied, and on the scientific question being addressed. This review will briefly explain the specific challenges associated with phloem cell visualization. It will then focus on common methods currently being used for studying phloem anatomy, development, and function. Emphasis will be placed on the most recent improvements in imaging techniques which had, or most certainly will have, an impact on phloem research.

Key words

Sieve element Companion cell Whole-mount staining Confocal microscopy Electron microscopy X-ray microtomography Super-resolution microscopy Phloem development 



Confocal microscopy


Modified pseudo-Schiff propidium iodide


Serial block face scanning electron microscopy


Sieve element


Scanning electron microscopy


Transmission electron microscopy


High-resolution X-ray microtomography



I am grateful to David Seung for critical reading of the manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Institute of Molecular Plant BiologyETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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