[Histonet] Re: test animal vs. plant

Michael Folsom mwfolsom <@t> rgbio.com
Wed Aug 11 17:47:32 CDT 2010

With phloroglucinol you are staining for lignins which can be present in
varying abouts in plant tissue.  Also, please note that different types
of lignins occur in different types of plants at different levels so
sadly negative results don't mean much.

Other carbos to consider are cellulose or callose - calcoflour white is
an easy to use stain (0.1% in dH2O) for cellulose and flouresces in the
UV range, aniline blue stains callose also in the UV range.  

I know none of these are diagnostic by themselves but if you tie it to
some macerates and see fibers or trachieds then you have some plant


Rio Grande Biological
Albuquerque, NM

On Thu, 2010-07-22 at 20:19 +1000, Birgitta Stephenson wrote:
> Hello Tamara,
> Thanks for your reply. In the lab we have worked with the carbohydrate
> ideas, so travelling down the same path. With the grindstones we are
> looking for some tests that we can also carry out in the field as
> sometimes we have grinding hollows or stones in situ which can not be
> moved. This is why we thought simple visual staining and utilising a
> hand held digital microscope could be the answer. However the staining
> is not as straight forward as we'd hoped. I am thinking that if the
> Phloroglucinol is light sensitive then perhaps counterstaining with
> Toluidine Blue can highlight other areas. Problem is the residues are
> water lifted and drowning the slide with tap water (well drops of) means
> that the residue at times almost vanishes. Any more thoughts are most
> welcome.
> Thnaks again
> Birgitta Stephenson
> Research Microscopy Lab, University of Queensland
> On Tue, 20 Jul 2010 11:41:51 -0600, "Tamara A Howard" <thoward <@t> unm.edu>
> said:
> > I saw your post on the Histonet - it seems that there must 
> > specific tests that could do what you need. I Googled the 
> > word string: "test distinguish plant animal" & got the 
> > following promising hit:
> > 
> > http://www.hsc.csu.edu.au/chemistry/options/forensic/2964/ch992nov03.html
> > 
> > My guess is that there would be more info from forensic 
> > science sites; they must have listservers, too.
> > 
> > It sounds like a very interesting project - I'm envious!
> > 
> > Tamara
> > 
> > ***************************
> > Tamara Howard
> > Cell Biology & Physiology
> > Albuquerque, NM
> > ***************************
> -- 
>   Birgitta Stephenson
>   bstephen <@t> fastmail.fm

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