School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Why is Rudolp's nose red?

2005, Fall

Fall 2005 Mystery Image

Fall 2005 Mystery Image
Image by CJ Kazilek

This image as taken using one of our light microscopes that is called a scanning laser confocal microscope.

The subject of the micrograph is a plant root. In more scientific terms, this is a cross section of a monocot plant root. The colors are from the natural plant tissue fluorescence when illuminated by different colors of light. In this case the light is produced by lasers.

If you would like to know about the the root structures you see in this cross section read on.

  • The dark blue inner area is called the pith
  • The large bright-green structures are called xylem and are used to move water and minerals from the roots up through the plant. It is the xylem that provides the structural support in a plant. As the plant grows older it becomes the woody tissue.
  • The ring of light blue area is called phloem. These plant tissues move the sugars that are produced in the plant by photosynthesis.
  • The pith, xylem, and phloem make up what is called the central vascular cylinder.
  • The dark thin area outside of the phloem is called the endodermis. This one-cell thick layer creates a boundary between the inner part of the root and the outer area and helps to control the movement of substances from the soil solution into the vascular cylinder.
  • Finally the outer most tissues are called the cortex.

If you are curious, here are some numbers from our list of guesses. 

  • 46% thought is was some type of plant tissue.
  • 15% thought is was some type of plant cell.
  • 15% thought is was some type of animal tissue
  • 13% thought is was some type of animal cell
  • 5% thought is was some type of organelle
  • 3% thought is was some type of virus

This was also a very good image for creative answers. Some of these answers are listed below. 

  • I think that this image is a cell from animal skin or certain kind of skin. I think this because of the way it is a circle and could be part of a pore or sweat gland.
  • It's an eye of a frog.
  • I think that it is a taste bud on your tongue. It is circular in shape and looks odd.
  • A peacock part or bubble.
  • A piece of cucumber
  • Cell of a pinapple
  • Jellyfish DNA
  • This is the look from the inside of an albino animals eye. You can see the pupil and the outer coloring of the pupil.
  • I think it is a sponge.

To download a computer wallpaper of this image, right click on this link or image and save it to your computer.

ant, photo by Alex Wild

It's like having your own microscope! Visit our Zoom Gallery to explore and have fun zooming in and moving around each image.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

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ant, photo by Alex Wild

It's like having your own microscope! Visit our Zoom Gallery to explore and have fun zooming in and moving around each image.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.