Volvox slide from Chinese 91 slide selection under Zeiss IM microscope with different illuminators – Andy’s birthday present November 2017

Rachel and David, good friends of ours, bought me this selection of slides for my birthday this year. It is an eclectic collection plant, animal, insect and protozoal slides, mostly stained. At only £25, it was an absolute bargain – although the number of 91 is a bit strange.

My first forey into looking at these came today. It also provided my first opportunity to compare images between the LED illuminator and 100W halogen illuminator.

I chose the Volvox slide – these multicellular organisms are found in lakes and ponds and inland waterways world-over and can be amazing to look at under a microscope.

The following images show Volvox using the two different illuminators and at varying magnification.

Volvox is a polyphyletic genus of chlorophyte green globe algae in the family Volvocaceae. It forms spherical colonies of up to 50,000 cells. They live in a variety of freshwater habitats, and were first reported by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in 1700 (Wikipedia).

The following diagram comes from Wikipedia and shows the structure of a Volvox colony – which can be seen in my photos below.


The dual illuminator setup on Zeiss IM microscope:

The 91 Chinese slide selection:

Chinese-Volvox-slide-x20-obj-Halogen-100W-illum-011217.bmp – whole Volvox colony showing many daughter colonies – with x20 objective. The picture also shows that it is not possible to get all of the spherical Volvox colony in focus at the same time:

Chinese-Volvox-slide-x63-obj-LED-30W-illum-011217II.bmp (below) – same field as above with LED illumination rather than halogen illuminatation (which was used above). Photo looks similar – in practice colour temperature was very different – much warmer with the halogen – and the similar colours reflect the effect of the auto-white balance adjustment present in the Bresser Mikrocamlab7 software:

Chinese-Volvox-slide-x32-obj-Halogen-100W-illum-011217.bmp (below) – Halogen, now magnification increased using x32 objective – which brings out detail in the daughter colonies inside the Volvox:

Same field and magnification as above with LED illumination (below):

The following three photos are a series of photos of the same field all using LED illumination but this time using the 63x objective to concentrate on one of the daughter colonies. Volvox is spherical so it is not possible to get the whole daughter colony in focus at the same time so the three photos are at different levels within the colony to bring different parts into focus. It looks to me as though the daughter colonies are already forming grand-daughter colonies within them, even before separating from their parent!

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