Olympus Life and Materials Science Europa has announced that the Somerset Cell Biology Research Group (SCBRG) has purchased a FluoView FV300 confocal laser scanning microscope (cLSM)
This highly flexible three channel microscope was selected for its excellent flexibility and competitive price.
The SCBRG is conducting basic research into the effect of abiotic stresses, such as herbicide run-off and increased UV exposure, on unicellular algae in natural drainage systems.
The Olympus FluoView FV300 cLSM offers two confocal fluorescence detection channels and a third transmitted light detection channel, making it a highly flexible entry-level confocal system for all applications.
Mark Brickley, director of the group said: "We like the simplicity that the FV300 brings to confocal microscopy, and its versatility means that we can incorporate existing components thus reducing the investment we needed to make".
He continued, "We are looking at the 3D morphological changes to algal chloroplasts and mitochondria under different abiotic stresses.
"To do this we needed a microscope capable of live cell 3D reconstruction at 0.5um resolution.
"Since we only need to use one or two fluorescent markers at a time, the capabilities of the FV300 (two confocal channels and a transmitted light channel) matched our needs very well".
Algae species, such as Mougeotia and Mesotaenium, are abundant in canals and drainage ditches.
They are the basis of the food web in these environments and therefore anything that affects their biology or chemical composition will, in turn, affect the rest of the ecological web.
Brickley commented: "People are becoming more aware of environmental problems, such as chemical accumulation and the increasing levels of damaging UV due to the weakening ozone layer.
"Both these factors have a direct impact on Mougeotia and Mesotaenium because they rely on the sun for energy and thrive in places that collect chemical, especially herbicide, run-off.
"Furthermore, the growing use of genetically engineered crops with tolerance to potent herbicides, increases their use and subsequent run-off, making this a contemporary concern".
The Olympus FluoView FV300 confocal systems are fully integrated workstations that incorporate user-friendly image acquisition and image analysis with high-resolution confocal optics that require no user alignment.
A selection out of the wide range of lasers, such as 405, 440, 457, 488, 515, 543, 560 and 633nm can be used to excite a broad range of known fluorochromes.
Each laser wavelength may be independently regulated via software-controlled neutral density filter wheels or through an ultra-fast acousto-optical tuneable filter (AOTF) for simultaneous or automated-sequential collection of multi-channel images.
The graphical user interface is designed for easy and quick operation of the complex system and is ideal for multi-user environments.
Olympus also offers the new range of superior UIS2 objectives for the use with the FV300, which are focus shift corrected from 400nm to Infrared to show no depth shift between, for example, blue and red fluorescence, making them indispensable for experiments such as co-localisation analyses.