ULTRASTRUCTURE, PHYSIOLOGY AND GENETICS: Ultrastructure
The micro-morphological and cytologico-ultrastructural characteristics of vegetal organisms are
studied using transmission
(TEM) and scanning
(SEM) electron microscopy techniques, in order to:
Some matters require the use of advanced analysis techniques, such as X-ray microanalysis (EDX) in SEM microscopy, which allow qualitative and quantitative analysis of heavy and light elements
(even as traces) to be carried out and the localisation of them within the cellular compartment (EDX system in STEM microscopy).
- identify diacritic characters which can be used for the taxonomic ordering of critical groups, in
accordance with the latest cytotaxonomic acquisitions
- localise accessory photosynthetic pigments (and their ultrastructural characterisation "in situ"
and "in vitro") in relation to the biosynthesis and the functional adaptation of the antenna
systems during the photosynthetic process in nature and in culture
- identify, at cytological level, the physiological processes involved in the secretion of cellular
exudates (mucilage), with ultrastructural and cytochemical characterisation of the latter "in situ" and
- characterise, micro-morphologically, the cellular wall, localising the skeletal and matrix
polysaccharidic components (studying their ultrastructural and cytochemical characteristics "in situ"
and "in vivo") in relation to the adaptation to normal (light, temperature, nutrients...) and stressful
(UV-A, UV-B, biotoxins, heavy metals ...) environmental factors in nature and in culture
- characterise the mineralisation processes of the cellular wall (calcification, silicification).
Scientist in charge: L. Talarico.