Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Photomicrography
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Fluorescence
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Partners
Site Info
Contact Us
Publications
Home

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Pharmaceuticals
Chip Shots
Phytochemicals
DNA Gallery
Microscapes
Vitamins
Amino Acids
Birthstones
Religion Collection
Pesticides
BeerShots
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Fluorescence Digital Image Gallery

Fish Gill Filaments

Unlike land vertebrates or marine mammals, fish don't have lungs, but they do have paired respiratory structures called gills, or branchia. The photomicrograph below illustrates a stained thin section of fish gill imaged using fluorescence illumination and fluorite optics.

Outgrowths of the body wall, gills remove dissolved oxygen from water and expel carbon dioxide waste from the bloodstream. This is how fish can breathe underwater without ever having to come to the surface for air. When there are insufficient quantities of dissolved oxygen in the water, they will suffocate.

Not all fish species rely entirely on their gills. Some, especially when they are young, absorb a large proportion of the oxygen they need through their skin. In a few other species, the air bladder, which most modern fish use as a ballast organ to control their depth, is specialized as an accessory breathing organ or lung. These fish are obligate air breathers and will drown if they cannot breathe air, even in well-oxygenated water. The air bladder, not gills, is the structure that gave rise to the evolution of the lung and follows the same developmental pattern as the lungs of land vertebrates.

Fish are the most diverse vertebrate group and make up about half of all known vertebrate species. More fish species are being discovered at a rate of 200 to 300 a year.

The specimen presented here was imaged with a Nikon E600 microscope operating with fluorite and/or apochromatic objectives and vertical illuminator equipped with a mercury arc lamp. Specimens were illuminated through Nikon dichromatic filter blocks containing interference filters and a dichroic mirror and imaged with standard epi-fluorescence techniques. The specific filter for the fish gill stained thin section was a DAPI, FITC, Texas Red combination. Photomicrographs were captured with a Optronics MagnaFire digital camera system coupled to the microscope with a lens-free C-mount adapter.

BACK TO THE FLUORESCENCE DIGITAL IMAGE GALLERY

Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Aug 01, 2003 at 11:43 AM
Access Count Since September 15, 2000: 27943
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: