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[III] Mounting an object

Mounting is necessary to properly position an object

for clear view. Lactophenol, glycerine and glycerine
jelly are used for temporary mounting while Canada
balsam is used for permanent mounting.
1. Mounting media. Following are sOr.J.e of the
common media used for temporary preparations.
(a) Lactophenol. It is a mixture of equal parts
of phenol crystals, lactic acid, glycerine (sometimes
two parts) and distilled water. Stains may be mixed
with this medium (e.g. cotton blue in lactophenol is
Specific schemes for staining combinations
(For temporary and semi-permanent preparations)
1. Hematoxylin 2. Safranin & fast green
& safranin or aniline blue
Select a section Select a section
.I- .IStain
with hematoxylin Stain with safranin
.I- (for 4-5 mmutes)
Wash with water .I-
.I- Wash With water
Wash with ammonia water .Itill
stam turns blue Destain with acid alcohol
(tap water is suitable if If necessary
alkalme). .I-
.I- Wash repeatedly with water
Wash with water .I-
.I- Stam with fast green or
Stam with safranin aniline blue
.I- (for about a minute)
Wash with glycerine .I-
.I- Wash With glycerine
Mount in glycerine .IMount
in glycenne
/ ;
Fig. 6 Method of mounting coverslip.
used to stain fungi) or copper acetate is added to
preserve green colour of the pigment.
(b) Glycerine. Pure glycerine diluted to 15-20%
is widely used. Semi-permanent and temporary
preparations are mounted in glycerine.
(c) Glycerine jelly. Jelly is also used for
mounting. It is made of gelatin 1 : glycerine 7 :
water 6 .
Warm the gelatin for two hours by adding water.
Phenol (1%) is added later. Add crystals of safranin
if desired. Allow the solution to cool and settle into
jelly .
Many other mounting media like canada balsam,
cedar oil, dammar, balsam, venetian turpentines and
synthetic resins are also used. .
2. Care. Following care should be taken during
mounting .
I. Object should be mounted in the centre of the
slide. A simple method may prove suitable for
this purpose. Take a piece of thick and white
cardboard sheet larger than the size of the
slide. Place the slide over it. Draw lines along
all the four edges. Join all the four comer
points diagonally by two lines. The point,
where these two lines meet, gives the centre
of the slide. While mounting an object, place
the slide over this drawn sheet and an object
on the central point.
2. No air bubbles should enter the medium while
mounting. This results in drying of medium
and preparation is spoiled. To avoid air
bubbles, touch one side of the coverslip to the
drop of mounting medium on the slide. Support
the coverslip by needle and lower it gradually
before finally removing it.
3. Use the necessary small quantity of mounting
medium so that it does not flow on to the
slide. If so, use little lesser quantity for the
next preparation. The extra amount can be
soaked by touching a piece of blotting paper
to the edge of the coverslip.
4. Preparation should be clean, hence the edges
of slide and the coverslip alone should be held
between the fingers.
5. Labels are pasted uniformly on one side of
the prepared slide. It should carry the name of
the division or generic and specific names, the
part mounted and the section's plane. At the
bottom, the name of the student who had
prepared the slide be written.
3. Sealing the coverslip. Temporary preparations
can be sealed with Canada balsam, gum, dammar,
nail polish, etc. Such a preparation is called a
semi-permanent preparation.
Sealing is done by simply painting the edges of
the coverslip with se,aling agent in such a way that
the space between the slide and the coverslip gets
filled with the agent. It should prevent mounting
medium from drying.
Similarly ringing table should be used for
sealing the round coverslips. The use of Canada
balsam in ringing is more convenient.
Record of Work
After the preparations are ready, these should be
carefully observed, salient features noted and drawn
on a practical record sheet. The following
suggestions would prove useful.
1. Punched holes should be on the left hand side
of the drawing sheet.
Introduction to Laboratory Work
2. Always use a sharp and pointed pencil for thin
and uniform lines.
3. Diagrams of the entire plant or its various
aspects are drawn on the same page. The
diagrams of other specimens should in no case
be drawn on the same page.
4. The sequence of the diagrams should always
be - external features, anatomy and then
5. For anatomical studies an outline diagram
followed by a cellular sketch of its suitable
sector are drawn one above the other on the
same page.
6. All the parts of the diagram must be labelled.
Capital letters are used for labelling. The labels
are arranged one below the other in a row.
7. Labelling lines should never cross one another.
Beautification and shading is not required until
specific effects are to be produced.
8. Every diagram must have caption at its bottom
(e.g. T. s. stem).
9. Date is written in the left hand coreer of the
10. Classification and name of the plant are given
in the right hand comer of the sheet.
11. The description is written either on the reverse
side of the drawing sheet or on a new facing
12. During description only technical terms are
used. The points of identification are added in
the end.
13. Anatomical studies are described as others.
A section should be described starting from
epidermis to the central region; give thickness
of layer (how many cells deep), shape and
size of the cells constituting it. Also give
details of the structure of stele and vascular

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