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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Soybean Genomics & Improvement Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350746

Research Project: Microscopy Applications for the Identification and Management of Agricultural Pests and Pathogens

Location: Soybean Genomics & Improvement Laboratory

Title: Three-dimensional printing of agriculturally important mites generated from confocal microscopy

Author
item Gulbronson, Connor - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Mowery, Joe
item Pooley, Christopher
item Ochoa, Ronald - Ron
item Bolton, Samuel - Florida Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services
item Bauchan, Gary

Submitted to: Microscopy and Microanalysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2018
Publication Date: 8/1/2018
Citation: Gulbronson, C., Mowery, J.D., Pooley, C.D., Ochoa, R., Bolton, S., Bauchan, G.R. 2018. Three-dimensional printing of agriculturally important mites generated from confocal microscopy. Microscopy and Microanalysis. 24:1360-1361. https//doi.org/10.1017/S1431927618007286.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1431927618007286

Interpretive Summary: Three dimensional (3D) models have become very popular and are now widely used for a broad range of applications. However, one of the major limitations of 3D printing is the difficulty in creating morphologically accurate models of complex biological specimens. A new rapid method has been developed for generating highly detailed and morphologically accurate models of mites, representing the first application combining confocal laser scanning microscopy with 3D printing to generate large physical models of mites. Six agriculturally important mites were chosen for study ranging in size from 110 microns to 3 millimeters, with a variety of distinct¬ morphologies. The production of these models has numerous benefits including the education of diverse target audiences. These models can be used as instructional tools in a classroom setting and as tools for science outreach. A possibility of use of these models is for training USDA-APHIS border inspectors to identify and intercept potentially devastating mites before they enter the country. The value of being able to hold and physically manipulate a model in one’s own hands cannot be overstated and may lead to enhanced scientific understandings of these mites. Our models can aid growers, horticulturalists, botanists, entomologists, biologists, and extension agents at universities, government agencies, and private industry who may need to directly visualize these microscopic organisms.

Technical Abstract: Recently, 3D printing has become an invaluable tool, now widely used for a broad range of applications. However, one of the major limitations of 3D printing is the difficulty in creating morphologically accurate models of complex biological specimens. A new rapid method is developed for generating highly detailed and morphologically accurate models of mites, representing the first application combining confocal laser scanning microscopy with 3D printing to generate large physical models of mites. Six agriculturally important mites were chosen for study ranging in size from 110um to 3mm, with a variety of distinct¬ morphologies. The production of these models has numerous benefits including the education of diverse target audiences. These models can be used as instructional tools in a classroom setting and as tools for science outreach. A possibility of use of these models is for training APHIS border inspectors to identify and intercept potentially devastating mites before they enter the country. Our models can aid not only individuals who are naïve to mites, but also experienced researchers who are now able to directly visualize these microscopic organisms.