Leafy liverwort is one of the most abundant and diverse plants in Indonesia. Their high variation and beneficial secondary metabolites contained in the oil bodies have attracted researchers' attention. The ultrastructural analysis of leafy liverworts is important as a means of species identification and also for further exploration of their oil bodies. However, the optimization of the preparation steps for observing leafy liverworts by SEM is necessary to avoid sample destruction. Fixation and drying play important roles in maintaining a sample's structure as close to its natural state as possible. Thus, in this study, we evaluated the effect of 4% Osmium tetroxide (OsO 4 ) and drying on leafy liverworts ultrastructure. Microlejeunea, Acrolejeunea, and Frullania were fixed with 2.5% glutaraldehyde. Some samples were then post-fixed with 4% OsO 4 , while the rest were directly dehydrated with an ethanol series and then subjected to different drying methods, i.e. air drying, freeze drying, and drying with hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS). According to the data obtained, post-fixation with 4% OsO 4 could better maintain the integrity of the samples and enhance the contrast of leafy liverwort SEM images. In addition, samples dried with HMDS showed more detailed structures compared to those that were air dried. Different ultrastructure were found among the different leafy liverworts observed by SEM. Our data suggested the advantages of SEM in providing ultrastructure information on leafy liverworts as well as the optimum conditions to observe them with less deformation. OsO 4 post-fixation could enhance the contrast of leafy liverwort SEM images and maintain the structure of the samples. Drying with HMDS provided a convenient way for rapid SEM preparation with less structural distortion.
- leafy liverworts