JAMES BELL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES BELL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph of a surface section of a leaf of Tradescantia, a spider wort plant. The small oval cells scattered over the surface are stomata, a series of pores, which provide the plant with a means of gaseous exchange between the atmosphere & the internal tissues. The pores are held open during the day & are closed at night to conserve water. The opening & closing of the pores are controlled by two guard cells, stained red-brown. The micrograph also shows the epidermal cells, which are elongated & arranged like a jigsaw puzzle. They contain dark stained nuclei. The blue band across the picture is a vascular strand or leaf vein. Magnification: x100 at 35mm size.
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