Phloem pp 3-16 | Cite as

Optimal Preparation of Tissue Sections for Light-Microscopic Analysis of Phloem Anatomy

  • Marcelo Rodrigo PaceEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2014)


In order to successfully analyze and describe any plant tissue, the first challenge is preparation of good anatomical slides. The challenge is even greater when the target tissue has heterogeneous characteristics, such as the phloem where soft and stiff tissues occur side by side. The goal of this chapter is to present a detailed protocol containing various techniques for optimal preparation of phloem tissue samples for light microscopic analysis. The process typically involves the steps of fixation, softening, embedding, sectioning, staining, and mounting. The protocol can be applied to make samples of phloem and surrounding tissues of stems and roots, from woody to herbaceous plants.

Key words

Bark Phloem Sieve element Structure–function relationship Sample preparation Light microscopy Staining Dyes Sectioning 



I would like to thank Antonio C. F. Barbosa from the Technological Research Institute of São Paulo for instructing me in microtomy, Gisele Costa from the University of São Paulo, Stan Yankowski for important inputs and for proofreading the manuscript, Mark Strong for proofreading the manuscript, Teresa Terrazas for Fig. 1b, the PeterBuck postdoctoral fellowship for funding at the Smithsonian Institution and the Programa de Apoyo a Proyectos de Investigación e Innovación Tecnológica (PAPIIT IA200319—Mexican government).


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Botánica, Instituto de BiologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Department of Botany, Smithsonian InstitutionNational Museum of Natural HistoryWashington, DCUSA

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