Monday, 20 June 2016

The Dutch live with water

 Micrasterias Rotata and Papillifera | Motic AE31E inverted Microscope | Moticam HD stack

The Dutch have to live with water, because of their country lying below sea level for the greatest part. What does this have to do with microscopy?

Every year the Dutch are spending billions of euros in dikes, canals, rivers, bridges, locks, waste water purification, water quality monitoring, water research and innovation. Dutch water know how is being applied all over the world.

 Micrasterias  Papillifera | Motic BA410E upright Microscope | Moticam 10

A major activity is the continues monitoring of the state of the zoo- and phytoplankton in rivers, streams and other aquatic areas, in order to watch over the
quality of water, its flora and fauna. Besides chemical analyzes of water, monitoring the state of phytoplankton such as diatoms, cyanobacteria, desmids etc. is an extensive activity carried out by various laboratories spread all over the country.

 Micrasterias Rotata | Motic AE31E inverted Microscope | 40X | Moticam HD stack

(Inverted) microscopy plays a major role here. With the aid of this instrument phytoplankton can be studied, species identified and counted in a convenient, quick and standardized way. In spite of the fact that this often involves routine work, sometimes unknown and interesting things are brought to light. One can also enjoy the beautiful images if, for example, ornamental algae (Desmids) are under the microscope. In the pictures shown here, one can see an example of some Desmids and the cell division of Micrasterias rotata. In the Netherlands there is a separate organization that deals with Desmids. One of the most important publications in this area is Desmids of the Lowlands by Peter F.M. Coesel and Koos (J.) Meesters, with the connected website

 Micrasterias Rotata Cell DIvision | Motic AE31E inverted Microscope | 40X | Moticam HD stack

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