Evaluation of fixative composition, fixative storage, and fixation duration on the fine structure and volume of root-cell nucleoli

Joanne M. Dannenhoffer, J. Shen-Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effect of various combinations of three fixative compositions (glutaraldehyde buffered in veronal acetate, cacodylate, and piperazine-N,N′-bis[2-ethanesulfonic acid]-PIPES), two fixative storage times (fresh vs 6 weeks), and two fixation durations (3 h vs 9 days) on nucleolar fine structure and nucleolar volume in three root cell-types of oat seedlings (Avena sativa L, cv Seger) were evaluated. All fixatives show overall good preservation of fine structure. Nucleolar components are distinct and well delineated in cells fixed in solutions buffered with either cacodylate or veronal acetate; the components are more condensed when preserved in fixative buffered with PIPES. Nucleolar volume is greatest in cells fixed in the cacodylate fixative, and smallest in those preserved in the PIPES fixative. Among the treatments tested, the PIPES fixative evidently best maintains nucleolar volume. Distracting particulate deposits are abundant on nuclei and nucleoli in cells preserved in the veronal-acetate fixative. Contrary to common assumptions, aging of buffered fixative at room temperature for 6 weeks seems to affect neither the general quality of cellular preservation nor the pH of the fixatives, although nucleolar volume is reduced by such treatment. Long-period fixation (9 days) results in destruction of membrane integrity (mitochondria, plastids, ER), and shrinkage of organelles from the cytoplasm. Nucleolar volume is reduced with prolonged fixation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalBiology of the Cell
Volume79
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

Keywords

  • fixation buffers
  • microgravity
  • nucleolus
  • oats
  • ultrastructure

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