ERE 596 Microtechnique

                                                         Spring Semester 2005

Instructor: S. E. Anagnost


Tuesday 9:00 - 12:00


Topics to be covered:


Knife sharpening and care.

Use of the sliding microtome.

Block preparation (trimming, softening) for sectioning.

Block orientation in the sliding microtome.

Sectioning techniques.

Staining of sections with hematoxylin and safranin.

Section dehydration and slide preparation.

Fiber suspension preparation.




Course requirements:


1. Slides of 4 wood species (oak, Quercus alba; red maple, Acer rubrum; white pine, Pinus strobus and southern yellow pine, Pinus palustris) stained with hematoxylin and safranin and mounted in Permount. Each slide will have a radial, tangential and transverse section. Sections must show proper orientation, be free of knife marks and tears. Section edges should be trimmed with a fresh razor blade.

2. Two slides of fibers prepared from macerated wood. One slide should be prepared of a hardwood (oak) and one of a softwood (maple). Use Franklin's method to pulp wood into fibers.


The slides are due at the end of the semester.


                                             ERE 596 Section 19 Microtechnique

                                                         Spring Semester 2005


February 1     Knife sharpening and care; use of sliding microtome


            Reading assignment:         Microtechnique handout, p. 2-7

                                                           Keith and C™tˇ, 1968

                                                            Kennedy and Chan, 1970.


February 8                Block preparation; sliding microtome operation

                                    Prepare radial, tangential and transverse sections of white pine


February 15              Continue to cut sections of white pine


                                    Reading assignment:         Microtechnique handout, p. 8-12

February 22              Critique of white pine sections

                                    Staining protocols and slide preparation

                                    Stain and prepare a slide of white pine sections


March 1                     Critique of white pine slides

                                    Start preparing blocks and sectioning a diffuse porous                                                         hardwood (maple), ring porous hardwood (oak), and southern                                            yellow pine.


                                    Reading assignment: Kukachka, 1977; Fujita and Harada, 19??.


March 8                     Continue sectioning; block softening techniques                   


March 15                  No classŃSpring Break


March 22                  Continue with sectioning, staining and slide preparation


March 29                  Continue with sectioning, staining and slide preparation


                                    Reading assignment:         Microtechnique handout, p. 13-14


April 5                        Pulp wood (oak and pine) into fibers using Franklin's method


April 12                      Slide preparation of fibers of two species


April 19                      Continue with sectioning, staining and slide preparation

                                    (no class this week)


April 26                      Critique of fiber slides


May 2                         Slides due (4 wood species and 2 fiber preparations).

Reading list


Microtechnique handout                Pages 5 - 16.


Berlyn, G.P. and J.P. Miksche. 1976. Botanical Microtechnique and Cytochemistry. The Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa. 326 pp.


Fujita, M. and H. Harada. 19??. A simple embedding and lining method for the sectioning of wood and wood-based materials using an alpha-cyanoacrylate resin.


Keith, C.T. and W. A. C™tˇ. 1968. Microscopic characterization of slip lines and compression failures in wood cell walls. For. Prod. J. 18(3):67-74.


Kennedy, R.W. and C.K. Chan. 1970. Tensile properties of microsections prepared by different microtomy techniques. 5(1):39-42.


Kukachka, B.F. 1977. Sectioning Refractory Woods for Anatomical Study. USDA Forest Service Research Note FPL-0236, USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison WI. 9 pp.