CHAP’s fluorescence stereomicroscope – revealing a new world of research

Since its installation, CHAP’s fluorescence stereomicroscope has averaged more than sixty users, helping to open up a new world of research.

Part of laboratory facilities at partner Rothamsted Research, the microscope enables the early detection of transgenic expression including DAPI, CFP and mCherry. The pattern and timing of transgene expression can be determined, and the system is often the vital first step in a diverse range of studies.

The specification

Dr Smita Kurup, Plant Developmental Biologist at Rothamsted Research, explains the capabilities of the microscope, and its benefits.

“The Leica M205 FA stereo microscope is a fully motorised, fluorescent stereomicroscope with digital camera for image capture. The system has both reflected brightfield and fluorescent light, and a transmitted light base for flexible sample illumination.

The system’s large field of view, working distance, and depth of field allow easy sample manipulation and imaging of whole organisms to cellular level detail. The LAS-X software is able to perform multichannel imaging, time sequences and z-stacks with parallax correction, and includes multi-focus function and 3D-imaging.

First steps in screening

The M205-FA is often used as a first-step screening tool, to check for expression of fluorescent proteins, GUS expression, pathogen infection stages, insect structural details, or soil structure. This information helps to inform and plan further work such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) or confocal imaging.

For example, in Dilks T, Halsey K, De Vos RP, Hammond-Kosack KE, Brown NA (2019) Non-canonical fungal G-protein coupled receptors promote Fusarium head blight on wheat. PLoS Pathogens https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007666, the microscope was used to show macro effects of Fusarium infection, to support the histological images of the pathogen within cells.

Supporting vital research

Since installation, the M205 stereo microscope has averaged more than sixty users, with annual use averaging more than 600 hours.

It’s housed at Rothamsted Research’s Bioimaging Facility, providing further support to the work of CHAP’s Digital Phenotyping Laboratory, where a range of imaging capabilities, including multispectral and chlorophyll fluorescence imaging are available.”

To enquire about the microscope or Digital Phenotyping Laboratory, e-mail enquiries@chap-solutions.co.uk

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Please note, the opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of CHAP.