Over 300 years earlier, an English scientist named Robert Hooke made a general description of cork cells with the aid of a primitive microscopic lense. This was actually the initially time a microscopic lense was ever put into use as he observed the bit box-choose frameworks via the microscope and also cells.

Cork which is basically written of dead tproblems originates from the cork oak tree"s outer bark. in the early on 1ninth century, this monitoring caused the formulation of cell concept as it became commonly embraced that all living points are made of cells.

It was also uncovered that cells come in varying sizes and also forms and additionally perdevelop varying attributes, consisting of part of the cell concept.

You are watching: Looked at cork through a compound microscope

While all cells in the body are not the exact same, they look very a lot afavor via a striking resemblance bereason of particular intrinsic structures they share in common. With the aid of a microscope, it was discovered that many animal cells and also plant cells have actually miscellaneous components in common which are the nucleolus, nucleus, mitochondria, cell membrane, and cytoplasm.

As a matter of truth, Robert Hooke was incorrect in his assumed that it"s only plants that contains cells, and simply as you will be observing quickly, Hooke has observed just cell walls as the cells have dried out. The understanding of the fundamental nature of a cell is vital to microscopy and also to the research of life creates or biology.

Cork Cells - By Berkshire Community College Bioscientific research Image Library (Gymnosperm Stem: Three Year Pinus) , via Wikimedia Commons


Cork or cork cambium (pl. cambia) is finest explained as a tworry in all vascular plants existing as component of the external layer or epidermis. It is a lateral meristematic tworry responsible for the second development in plants by means of the replacement of the epidermis in the stems and also roots of the plants (1).

Cork cambium is existing in herbaceous and woody dicots and also some gymnosperms. Taken a more cursory look, cork cambium is just one of the meristematic tconcerns of a plant which are a collection of tworries that consist of some incompletely identified cells from which the plant grows. Its attribute is to produce cork which is a solid protective material.

The expansion and also advancement of the cork cambium tissue vary with the plant species in consideration. It additionally depends on plant age and also problems of plant development, as deserve to be viewed from assorted surfaces of bark, which may be fissured, scaly, tessellated, flaking off or smooth.


By the finish of this activity you will be able to: 

1. Observe the amplified framework of dead cork cells.

2. Apply the understanding you gain right here to the basic operation of a microscopic lense.



CorkCoverslipSharp single-edge razor blade


In this task you will be observing cork cells through the usage of a compound light microscope. Using the cork bits or dust in the bottom of the cork container gives you the possibility to check out plainly the individual cells.

Dip your finger in the container of cork shavings or cork dust and also pick up a couple of and also place on the slide for a wet mount. Or alternatively, reduced cork slices that are thin enough to enable you to see individual cells. If the cork slice is thicker than important, it becomes challenging to view the layout of individual cells.

Place the cork on a record towel or on numerous sheets of paper. Hold the cork firmly and making use of a razor blade, carefully slice off a thin cork area and also be certain to create a very clean surconfront, making the cut area as thin as possible.

After cutting a cork slice that is thin enough for light rays to pass with it, prepare the slice right into a wet microscope slide mount. This have the right to be done by placing a little drop of water on a microscope slide, then include the cork slice on the slide and also include an additional drop of water on the slice and also cover via the slide coverslip.

The wet mount will certainly aid make certain the cork doesn"t fly off the slide. The best place to look is along the thinnest edge of the slice.

CAUTION: Razor blades are sharp! To protect against cutting your fingers, slice amethod from them, not towards them. 

At first, begin through low power in viewing your slide. What you will certainly be seeing is practically the same to what the scientist Robert Hooke saw through his low power primitive microscopic lense about 3 and also fifty percent centuries back.

Switch your microscopic lense to a higher power and also determine the details you can clearly check out currently which were invisible in low power.


1. Turn the revolving turret of the microscopic lense so that the lowest power objective lens is clicked into the 10x position.

2. Place the closely ready microscope slide in place and also store in area firmly gripped with the clips.

3. Look through the microscope’s eyeitem and then relocate the focus knob closely for the image to come right into clear focus.

4. Slightly readjust the microscope’s condenser and amount of illumination for optimum light intensity.

5. Move the microscope slide about till the sample is in the facility of the field of check out. High illumicountry from a little angle to the top of the sample is additionally valuable. 

6. With the focus knob, carefully location the image into clear emphasis and also also rechange the condenser and amount of illumicountry for a clear picture. Then note what you watch through the x10 magnification.

7. Once the image of the cork sample comes right into clear focus through the x10 power objective, you can then switch to the higher or lower objective to zoom in or out of the image for clarity. You deserve to at this time, allude the objective right into different planes for better observation of the cork sample layouts. 

8. When you’re done with the viewing, lower the phase, then click the objective into the low lens power and also take out the slide.


Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library Gymnosperm Stem: Pith in 2 Yr Pinus cross section: Pinus stem at 400x Nikon Eclipse E-200 Brightarea,Darkarea & Phase Contrast

A mature cork cell is a dead cell with cell wall surfaces made up of a waxy substance referred to as suberin. This substance is highly impermeable to water and gases. Now relying on the species of woody plant you have, the cork cells might contain traces of tannins, lignin, or fatty acids or the cork cells may simply be filled with air and also the thickness from one cell to the various other may be different.

In microscopy through the x10 low power magnification, the cells are packed together carefully and can be viewed to be generally arranged in rows radially. Many type of details can be made out of the cork cells layout via this low power magnification.

Switching to a higher power magnification say x40, the separation between cells deserve to be observed. This separation is thought to be brought about by frameworks that arise from the cork cambium, known as lenticels. These lenticels or pore-favor structures as deserve to be seen in greater powers enabling for the exreadjust of gases in between the exterior environment and also the stem of the plant.


In conclusion, once looking at the smallest item possible with the microscope utilizing the greater power objective, be certain not to look at the facility of the cork sample yet at the edge where you deserve to watch some light passing through the sample. Each among these devices that deserve to be observed is one cork cell and it"s only the cell wall that is visible bereason the cell has currently dried out.

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Check out Petri Dish with Agar - Preparation, Requirements and Procedure

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See more: What Is The Main Reason For The Instability Of The Nucleus Stability/Instability

Junikka, L. (1994) "Macroscopic bark terminology". IAWA Journal 15(1): 3–45

2. Trockenbrodt, M. (1990) "Survey and discussion of the terminology provided in bark anatomy". IAWA Bulletin, New Series 11: 141–166