Studying stomata - leaf peels

Preparing peels of leaf epidermis for the study of stomata can sometimes be difficult and frustrating - an alternative method of slide preparation is used by the Biology Department of Canning College. The technique involves painting the underside of the leaf with nail polish and, when dry, carefully peeling off the thin layer of polish and mounting on a microscope slide. Liquid PVA glue may also be used but takes longer to dry. Suitable leaves are ribbon grass, most succulents (e.g. "Mother-in-Law's Tongue") hibiscus, sweet pea and broad bean.

Examples of various peels:

Thanks to technicians Pamela Mercey and Jeanette Ciesla for this information and the photographs.

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