Study of lichens with different state of hydration by the combination of low temperature scanning electron and confocal laser scanning microscopies


  • Asunción de los Ríos Environmental Sciences Center, CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • Carmen Ascaso Environmental Sciences Center, CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • Jacek Wierzchos Electron Microscopy Service, University of Lleida, Spain


The use of techniques such as low temperature scanning electron microscopy (LTSEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) allows the study of lichen thalli in different states of hydration and also near the natural state. The spatial organization of desiccated thalli, with reduced, very compact algal layers, is different from that of hydrated ones. Sometimes, the observation with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of photobiont pyrenoids from desiccated thalli reports pyrenoids with a central part of a weak stained matrix lacking pyrenoglobuli, named “empty zones”. “Empty zones” are not distinguishable with LTSEM and do not present immunolabelling with rubisco antibody in TEM. These zones could be originated by an expansion process during rehydration produced in chemical fixation.






Research Articles