Scanning Electron Microscopy of Pine Seedling Wood Tissue Sections Inoculated with the Pinewood Nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus Previously Prepared for Light Microscopy

Yasuharu Mamiya

Abstract


Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was applied to paraffin-embedded wood sections to study the histopathology of pine seedlings inoculated with the pinewood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. The sections, which had been previously prepared and observed by light microscopy (LM) on glass slides, were originally obtained from experiments in which pine seedlings had been inoculated with PWN. The cover glass was removed by soaking the glass slide in xylene for 3 to 5 days. The glass slides were cut into small pieces so that each piece contained one wood section. Each piece of the glass slide was attached with double adhesive tape to an aluminum stub. The specimens were sputter-coated with gold and examined with a scanning electron microscope ( JEOLJSM 5200). Compared to LM (as documented in previous reports) SEM provided greater depth of focus and resolution of the damaged wood tissues, nematodes and associated bacteria. SEM made it possible to observe the relationship between bacterial distribution and nematode distribution in wood tissues. SEM observations also suggested the possibility of documenting the death of ray cells and other parenchyma cells in relation to disease development. Finally, the current study of PWN in pine seedlings demonstrated that glass slides prepared for LM observations more than 25 years earlier could be successfully processed for examination by SEM.

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