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Species Bananas Discussions of all the different wild species of banana (non edible), an aspect of the hobby that deserves its own section.


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Old 05-01-2007, 09:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cross Section of a Musa sikkimensis Seed

I've taken a bunch of pictures at school of Musa sikkimensis seeds, and I'm particularly fond of this one. This is a slide taken from one of my PowerPoints. This is as seen on low power under a microscope, with a digital camera recording the image.

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Old 05-01-2007, 11:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cross Section of a Musa sikkimensis Seed

Great shot Bigdog! What type of microscope and camera set-up did you use? I am thinking about getting one for the lab and would welcome any comments/suggestions you might have.

Many Thanks.
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cross Section of a Musa sikkimensis Seed

I'll have to get the particulars from the professor, as I don't know. We took some really incredible shots though! I'll share some more later. Here's a bigger shot of the seed, sans labels:


Last edited by bigdog : 05-02-2007 at 09:51 PM. Reason: insert picture
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cross Section of a Musa sikkimensis Seed

Nice pictures Frank. I've been able to get some shots like this from my digital still camera, but they are not as high resolution usually.
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cross Section of a Musa sikkimensis Seed

Thanks, Gabe. I had a lot of fun taking these pics. Well...the prof. actually took the pics, lol! Here's a super-closeup of the embryo:

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Old 05-05-2007, 04:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cross Section of a Musa sikkimensis Seed

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Originally Posted by GATrops View Post
Great shot Bigdog! What type of microscope and camera set-up did you use? I am thinking about getting one for the lab and would welcome any comments/suggestions you might have.

Many Thanks.
Richard, I got the particulars from the professor on the microscope and camera. You might laugh! It's quite primitive, according to him. The microscope is just an old Olympus student dissecting scope. The digital camera is an old Nikon Coolpix 950, with microscope attachment. I'm sure there are MUCH better setups available. The lighting was a challenge with this setup. Even with little, bright halogen lights shining right on the seed, it still came out a bit on the dark side.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cross Section of a Musa sikkimensis Seed

Nice shots.

Micro filters are really easy to find. I got a set of three filters(different degrees of microscoping) for about 15 bucks used from the local camera shop. They really come in handy for shots of weird bugs, and seeds.
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Old 10-19-2007, 06:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cross Section of a Musa sikkimensis Seed

Hey Frank,

Can you tell if a seed is viable from a cross section like this?
I am thinking about ordering a few seeds from someone that has refrigerated the seeds and wondered if it would be possible to tell if the seed was still viable. Really nice pics btw! Got to love this site!
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cross Section of a Musa sikkimensis Seed

Frank,
This is the first time I have seen this thread!!! Great shots... I did the same this week at work in the analytical lab with a velutina seed as a model. I used their dissecting microscope and the diagram you and Gabe discussed with on the velutina experiment thread last year!!! I had the whole lab stopping what they were doing and checking it out!!! We moved it over to the more powerful microscope to try and get a pic of it, but could not get enough light on it to show up. I think they are going to look at getting a camera attachment for the dissecting microscope now!!! We did take a few pics of it using their digital camera and then working with it on the computer. I have it saved on a disk for now, but really want to get one when they get their attachment!!!! All in all, it was too cool seeing the parts of the seed in person and not just a diagram.
I will be working in the lab until March or so, and trying to think of what else I can do with seeds while back there. Their ultrasonic bath was the ticket in cleaning the seeds....
Take care buddy, and thanks for the thread!!!!

BTW, what function does the chalazal mass serve? Looked it up and could not figure out what it was for!
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cross Section of a Musa sikkimensis Seed

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Hey Frank,

Can you tell if a seed is viable from a cross section like this?
I am thinking about ordering a few seeds from someone that has refrigerated the seeds and wondered if it would be possible to tell if the seed was still viable. Really nice pics btw! Got to love this site!

In another post refrigeration of banana seeds I posted that I found seed viability can be tested with a 0.5% tetrazolium choride solution, a viable embryo will stain red.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cross Section of a Musa sikkimensis Seed

Randy, the chalazal mass hasn't been figured out yet. Noone is sure exactly what function it serves. It is something like pine resin when dry, and when hydrated becomes quite gelatinous. It may serve as a cushion for the embryo to push against when it starts to germinate, but that's just speculation. It only occurs in a few families of plants too.

Yep, the tetrazolium test is a good one. I have seen some dead embryos in Ensete perrieri, and they are very off-color and dessicated. I've also seen Musa sikkimensis embryos that were hydrated, but rotten. A lot remains to be understood about Musa seeds.
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