Netherlands: Laser dissection for research into individual cells

The Laboratory for Molecular Biology at Wageningen University recently purchased a laser system which will enable the dissection of individual cells from the surrounding plant tissue. This equipment makes it possible to determine the development stage and activity of DNA and biosynthetic routes for individual cells. As it has been purchased with the financial support of CAT-AgroFood, the Leica LMD7000 Laser Microdissection System can also be used by companies and knowledge organisations outside of Wageningen UR.

Molecular Biology involves lots of research into the interaction between soil micro-organisms and the plant. “We really want to isolate specific cells infected with a bacterium or fungus to determine which genes in these cells are ‘switched on’,” says molecular biologist and expert fluorescence emission spectroscopy Erik Limpens. “Or follow the stages of cell development and see which genes are involved in the interaction with Rhizobium – the bacteria that produces. This requires the dissection of individual cells.”

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