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Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Sidoti, Brian [1], Oberle, Brad [2].

Teaching Undergraduate Students Scanning Electron Microscopy Techniques Utilizing Botanical Garden Collections.

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is an important tool for exploring micromorphological characters. It is also a useful instrument to engage undergraduate students in investigating biological structures beyond the light microscope. New College of Florida (NCF), the State’s public honors college, and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (MSBG) recently formed a partnership to foster collaborations in teaching and research. In our Introduction to Botany laboratory course, we utilized the SEM at NCF and MSBG’s research collection of living epiphytes with the goals that students: 1) demonstrate working knowledge of SEM techniques, 2) understand the role of trichomes in plant evolution, and 3) use ImageJ to conduct analyses. We divided the lab into two parts. In Part 1, students were given fixed, sputter coated samples in three genera of Bromeliaceae (Brocchinia, Catopsis and Tillandsia). Then they used SEM to recognize features of trichomes including density, shape, and area in the context of the evolutionary history of the group. In Part 2, students were provided SEM images of Dodecatheon (Primulaceae). They were asked to assess the usefulness of seed morphology as a taxonomic character for delimiting species and identifying putative hybrids. After these experiences, students were able to calculate and compare area, perimeter, and Feret’s diameter of Brocchinia, Catopsis and Tillandsia trichomes, and students with more advanced statistical backgrounds conducted more in depth analyses. For Part 2, students were able to delimit D. frenchii and D. meadia based on differences in seed shape, and their morphologically intermediate hybrids. Student lab reports demonstrated that they could satisfactorily develop hypotheses, capture SEM images and analyze data. This lab provided students with a foundation of skills necessary for success with related independent research, including senior theses.

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1 - New College of Florida, Natural Sciences, 5800 Bay Shore Blvd, New College of Florida, Sarasota, FL, 34243, United States
2 - New College Of Florida, Natural Sciences, 5800 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, FL, 34243, United States

scanning electron microscopy

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Education and Outreach Poster Section
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEO009
Abstract ID:843
Candidate for Awards:None

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