The Integrated Microscopy Facility has compiled instrumentation for live cell light microscopy and electron microscopy that strives to furnish the best possible cellular imaging for plant scientists, within the institute and regionally. We offer training for those wanting to acquire their own data and full service for those requiring expertise offered by facility staff. Instrumentation for confocal and two photon light microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (including high pressure freezing), is described in the instrumentation link on this page.
Housed in a 1500 sq. ft. suite in the lower level of the Danforth Plant Science Center, the Integrated Microscopy Facility furnishes contemporary instrumentation for imaging plant cells. Live cell imaging is done using widefield, confocal, or multiphoton light microscopes. High resolution imaging of cells is done using an energy-filter transmission electron microscope. A prep lab and darkroom are included in the suite, as are computers for digital processing of images. Ancillary light microscopy equipment includes a Zeiss PALM laser capture microscope and a fluorescence dissecting microscope. Ancillary equipment for transmission electron microscopy includes a BalTec high pressure freezer, a Leica automated freeze substitution machine, a Reichert Ultracut microtome, a Gatan 626 cryostage, and an EMBL grid plunge freezer. A Hitachi TM 1000 tabletop SEM and preparation equipment (critical point dryer and sputter coater) are also housed in the facility.
As Director of the IMF I am interested in all things related to imaging plant cells. For electron microscopy I am particularly interested in improving methods for freeze substitution of high pressure frozen tissues, and in applying resin section electron tomography to plant cell analysis. In light microscopy, I am interested in imaging plant cell dynamics using 4D optical sectioning. In addition, I am interested in implementing quantitative light microscopy using fluorescence lifetime imaging and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and am seeking funding for hardware to do this. My publications reflect the broad interest I have in plant cell biology and that I often contribute the cell biology component to these studies. I am principal investigator on a project to study plant virus (TMV) replication complex cell biology using a combination of time lapse imaging and correlative resin section electron tomography. In addition, I study the cell and developmental biology of nitrogen fixing symbiotic root nodules, in soybean (with rhizobia) and in actinorhizal associations with the actinomycete Frankia.