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Plants and Environment

E-ISSN: 2582-3744
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2019, Vol. 1, Issue 2

Gum Arabic: An alternative mountant in wood histology

Author(s): I. M. Adeniyi*, A. A. Adeola and S. A. Areghan

Affiliation: Department of Forest Products Development and Utilization, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria P.M.B 5054, Forest Hill, Jericho Estate, Ibadan, Oyo-State Nigeria

Abstract: Gum Arabic (GA) was investigated for its suitability in wood histology in this study. About 2g of the exudates was dissolved in 20 ml of water at room temperature to form a syrupy solution thick enough for cover slipping. A low-density wood was also prepared on a sliding microtome in order to get sections of about 20 microns. Sections were stained with Safranin stain and washed thoroughly with distilled water until the water became colorless, after which the specimens were gently lifted unto a clean slide and covered with two drops of GA solution. Another set of sections were also prepared through a normal procedure using Canadan balsam. The results showed that Gum Arabic dissolved at room temperature with little or without agitation forming a light yellowish-brown viscous solution. Sections prepared from GA were darker as Safranin stain was not leached therefore leading to more contrast being achieved among the wood features. Moreover, the results also showed that there was no distortion of any kind after mounting and embedding in GA: wood features were distinctly clear. The study showed that GA can be used as mounting medium during wood histology and can be used as a good alternative to the conventional mounting media to replace Canadan balsam and other synthetic media. Moreover, the use of GA as a mountant will reduce the period of time spent during wood histology procedure as some aspects such as dehydration and clearing are bypassed. Retention of stains within the specimen cells also indicated that contrast can be enhanced when GA is employed as a mountant. Wood micrographs showing slides prepared form GA are also presented in the study.

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