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Live from the heart of the cell!

The CIRAD "Plateau d'histologie et d'imagerie cellulaire végétale" (plant cell histology and imagery unit) is associated with Montpellier Rio Imaging (MRI)* and shares its philosophy. Since 2002, life sciences researchers have had access to its equipment.

"We are deeply committed to mutualization. The idea is to attract every potential user interested in plants, whether they specialize in human or animal imagery" says Jean-Luc Verdeil, a cellular and molecular biology researcher at CIRAD.

The imagery unit comprises three rooms: a sample preparation laboratory, a computer image processing room and a microscope room. The structure serves to optimize research work and opens the way to establishing the dynamics of living organisms. With the new microscopes, users will have access to the life of cells, without disrupting them in any way. They will be able to observe in vivo how plants react to fungal pathogens or watch live how treatments affect living cells.

The new multiphoton microscope will provide 3-D images right down to the roots of plants, even if the sample is particularly opaque or dense. Confocal microscopy, which has been used since the late 1980s, only gives access to two layers of a cell.

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These new multidimensional imagery techniques for living organisms will thus soon be available to the vast population of potential users working with Montpellier Rio Imaging. The equipment can be booked direct on the MRI website.

* Regional reference platform for life sciences imagery, associating CNRS, INSERM, INRA, CIRAD and the University of Montpellier 2.

Helen Burford | alfa
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