Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Site Info
Contact Us

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Chip Shots
DNA Gallery
Amino Acids
Religion Collection
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Fluorescence Digital Image Gallery

Moss Reproductive Tissue

Mosses are the most common, diverse, and advanced group of bryophytes, a division of green, seedless plants that dates back to the Permian period (286 to 245 million years ago). In bryophytes, the antheridium is the male sex organ, which produces sperm. The archegonium, illustrated along with the antheridium in the fluorescence photomicrograph presented below, is the female reproductive organ, which produces eggs.

The antheridia and archegonia of mosses are generally found at the tips of the main plant shoots. In some species, the shoots are unisexual, each shoot containing either archegonia or antheridia. Other species have bisexual shoots, containing both archegonia and antheridia.

Like other plants, most mosses reproduce through the alternation of generations, alternating generations of sexual and asexual forms; each complete life cycle requiring two generations. The sexual form, called the gametophyte, begins as a protonema. The protonema is the direct product of spore germination and gives rise to the green leafy plant commonly regarded as a moss. The asexual form, or sporophyte, develops as separate male and female plants, but neither can exist independently. Each sporophyte plant is composed of a capsule, which is the center of spore formation; a stalk; and a foot that attaches the sporophyte body to the tip of the gametophyte. Eventually, the diploid spores are released and, upon successful germination, grow into another moss plant.

The specimen presented here was imaged with a Nikon Eclipse E600 microscope operating with fluorite and/or apochromatic objectives and vertical illuminator equipped with a mercury arc lamp. Specimens were illuminated through Nikon dichromatic filter blocks containing interference filters and a dichroic mirror and imaged with standard epi-fluorescence techniques. Specific filters for the moss archegonia stained thin section were a UV-2E/C, B-2E/C, and a Y-2E/C. Photomicrographs were captured with an Optronics MagnaFire digital camera system coupled to the microscope with a lens-free C-mount adapter.


Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2022 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Nov 13, 2015 at 02:19 PM
Access Count Since September 15, 2000: 34569
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: