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Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) and its application to fossil dinoflagellate cysts

4.a) Application of CLSM to fossil dinoflagellate cysts:

An Example from the Middle Jurassic Protobatioladinium mercieri sp. nov. FEIST-BURKHARDT & PROSS 1999.

Light microscope images, descending focus series. Specimen in left lateral position, coloured by fuchsine.

CLSM images

Extended focus image of the 16.8 Ám thick specimen, left lateral face. The image is composed of a stack of 50 single optical sections. Distance between single optical sections: 0.34 Ám. By applying the computer contrast mode SFP, enhancing opacity and adding an oblique light source a wrinkled thin outer membrane covering the cyst wall becomes visible.
After rotation of the image stack 180 ░ around the y-axis, one can see the hidden back side of the specimen (SFP mode).
Single optical section no. 16 of a total of 50 optical sections. Note the frothy porous structure of the cyst-wall, the presence of the thin outer membrane and the outline of the opercular pieces.
Single optical section no. 28 of a total of 50 optical sections. Note the homogenous thickness of the cyst-wall in optical section and the hollow apical horn.