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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Electron and Confocal Microscopy Unit


The Electron and Confocal Microscope Unitprovides collaborative assistance for BARC scientists and their collaborators to use high resolution imaging for their research programs. The ECM Unit is equipped with state of the art scanning and transmission electron microscopes,a confocal microscope, a stereo zoom fluorescence microscope, and a digital brightfield microscope. All of the microscopes of the ECMU are equipped with digital cameras, permitting any collaborating investigator to quickly use images generated to prepare figures for manuscripts, presentations,and grants.


ECMU in the News

Current Publications





Brev phoenicis A closer look Beard 2015

Brevipalpus phoenicissensu stricto (Geijskes) is redescribed and the species diagnosis established. Two former synonyms of B. phoenicis sensu lato, B. yothersi Baker and B. papayensis Baker, are resurrected and redescribed and their species diagnoses established. Brevipalpus hondurani Evans is also redescribed and diagnosed. Four new species, previously mis­identified as B. phoenicis sensu lato or B. obovatus Donnadieu, are described-B. azores sp. nov., B. feresi sp. nov., B. ferraguti sp. nov., and B. tucuman sp. nov. Four new junior synonyms of B. yothersi are listed-Brevipalpus amicus Chaudhri and B. recula Chaudhri (new synonymies), and B. mcbridei Baker and B. deleoni Pritchard and Baker (misiden­tifications). A key is provided to separate these species. New morphological characters significant for species separation are presented and discussed.




Osperalycus tenerphagus

A New Mite, dubbed "The Buckeye Dragon Mite", Osperalycus tenerphagus, "is the first species of this weird soil mite family to be described in over 40 years,"








  • Scanning Electron Microscope
    (Low Temperature SEM): Hitachi 4700 SEM with Quorum Cryo-Prep Chamber

  • Scanning Electron Microscope
    (Variable Pressure SEM): Hitachi 3700 Variable Pressure SEM with Oxford X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS)

  • Transmission Electron Microscope
    (TEM): The Hitachi 7700 TEM

  • Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope
    (CLSM): Zeiss 710

  • Stereo Zoom Fluorescense Microscope:
    Zeiss Axio Zoom v16

  • Digital Video Microscope
    Hirox 7700

There is no charge to collaborating management units to work with the Electron and Confocal Microscopy Unit for short-term projects. However, scientists are expected to present samples ready for observation in the microscope and they must provide their own expendable items. For projects that might involve a long-term commitment or that might dominate the staff's time, the ECMU will provide training and facilities for a member of the collaborator's staff. The Unit functions as the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center's core facility. Beltsville scientists who wish to use the Microscopes should contact:

Dr. Gary Bauchan: Director ECMU.
Specialist Scanning Electron Microscopy and Confocal Laser Microscopy 301-504-6649 

Mr. Joe Mowery: BiologistSpecialist in transmission electron microscopy.
Joseph.Mowery@ars, 301-504-9027

Mr. Christopher Pooley: Specialist in digital imaging and computer techniques.  AM: 301-504-8377  PM: 301-504-9027


Last Modified: 11/28/2016
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