Articles

Chromoplasts

The wide variety of colors in flowers and fruits is largely caused by pigment containing organelles called chromoplasts. Chromoplasts belong to the plastids and they are responsible for the bright red, orange and yellow colors in many fruits and flowers.

Stomata

Stomata consist of specialised cells that mainly occur on the underside of leaves. They regulate the gas exchange between the plant and it’s environment, the plant is 'breathing' through them, as it were. Stomata are very recognizable by the two bean-shaped guard cells that regulate the size of the opening.

Crystals in plants

In the cells of most plants, crystals consisting of calcium oxalate are found which are formed by a process called  biomineralisation. It is thought that these crystals act as a storage reservoir for calcium and also provide for the storage of toxic waste (detoxification). The crystals come in a variety of shapes and some are characteristic of certain plant groups.

Blood

It is not that often that I look at blood under the microscope. It usually happens when I get injured and have the opportunity to get a microscope. After an unfortunate shave, I act quickly so that I can prepare a slide from the blood before it dries up.

Diatoms

Diatoms are brown microalgae that can be found in all freshwater and marine environments. They are an important link in the ecological cycle. In streams and rivers you often see stones covered with a brown layer that is formed by diatoms.