This post is about how to visualize non-filamentous cyanobacteria by taking the genus Aphanotheca as an example. Colonies of Aphanotheca show a rather simple morphology: a bunch of individual cells, clearly separated from each other is embedded in a globular gel-like matrix.
The next image simulates microscopy after ink-staining. (Incident light from below the object is absorbed by the ink but scattered by the gel-like matrix).
Now I add some light from above to improve the image of the individual cells.
Finally, it is possible, at least when using ray-tracing, to give the gel-like matrix a darker colour.
One of the great advantages of ray-tracing when compared to microscopy is the ease of preparing sections 😉 Here I am doing rather thick ones, but there is no problem doing ultrathin sections as well. (Well in this case there is no point as well…)
I am using several ways of illumination below.
And finally, how such a section would appear in bright field microscopy.
In the next post on cyanobacteria I will apply these ways of visualization to the various forms of non-filamentous cyanobacteria.