Spore Observation

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Equipment used:


A fully PC controlled FE-SEM – for high vacuum as well as for low vacuum operations. Outstanding optical properties, flicker-free digital image with...


A spore structure is one of the characteristic features of individual plant species. According to a spore architecture and morphology, biologists can confirm the presence of each plant in the nature. Details of spores differ in a surface structure and can be observed using scanning electron microscope. Scanning electron microscope with high brightness Schottky emitter is an ideal tool for detailed investigation of proximal and distal face of spores due to high resolution and low-noise imaging. The spore morphology of the four hornwort species has been observed using a high resolution scanning electron microscope MIRA3 FEG-SEM with unique Wide Field Optics™ design. The surface of the spores was compared and excellent images of the spores were acquired.

Experimental Conditions

The stereo microscope was used to clean course dirt from the spore surface and to transfer the spores on the aluminium stubs. The spores were sputter coated by gold. The thickness of the gold layer was 10 nm. A field emission scanning electron microscope MIRA3 FEGSEM was used to study the spore morphology of the hornworts. Unique three-lens Wide Field Optics™ design of the electron column offers the variety of working and displaying modes with different depths of focus and view fields. Due to the dimensions of the spores, displaying mode called DEPTH was found to be most suitable for imaging of the spores. Accelerating voltage was set to values from 5 to 10 kV to minimize sample destruction caused by electron beam interactions. Secondary electron (SE) detector (Everhart-Thornley type) was used for the best topographic contrast of acquired images.


Anthoceros neesii


The observation of the spore morphology is a simple way to distinguish the related genera of plants. Anthoceros agrestis and Phaeoceros carolinianus were investigated in order to compare and recognize endangered Anthoceros neesii and Notothylas orbicularis. MIRA3 FEG-SEM with its high quality performance and variety of displaying modes proved......

All details about the application are available in the attached PDF file 

Product Focus


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