Over 300 year ago, an English scientist called Robert Hooke made a general summary of cork cells through the help of a primitive microscope. This was actually the an initial time a microscopic lense was ever before put right into use together he it was observed the little box-like frameworks with the microscope and also cells.

Cork i m sorry is basically composed of dead organization originates native the cork oak tree"s external bark. In the early on 19th century, this observation resulted in the formulation the cell theory as it ended up being widely welcomed that every living things room made that cells.

It was likewise discovered the cells come in varying sizes and also shapes and likewise perform differing functions, do up component of the cell theory.

You are watching: Which scientist discovered cells by observing cork with a homemade microscope?

While all cells in the body space not the same, castle look an extremely much alike v a striking resemblance since of certain intrinsic structures they re-superstructure in common. With the assist of a microscope, it was uncovered that most animal cells and also plant cells have actually various materials in common which are the nucleolus, nucleus, mitochondria, cabinet membrane, and also cytoplasm.

As a matter of fact, Robert Hooke was incorrect in his thought that it"s only plants that consists of cells, and also just together you will certainly be observing soon, Hooke has actually observed only cell wall surfaces as the cells have dried out. The knowledge of the basic nature of a cell is essential to microscopy and to the examine of life develops or biology.

Cork cells - through Berkshire ar College Bioscience picture Library (Gymnosperm Stem: three Year Pinus) , via Wikimedia Commons


Cork or cork cambium (pl. Cambia) is best described together a organization in every vascular tree existing as component of the outer layer or epidermis. That is a lateral meristematic organization responsible because that the secondary growth in plants via the replacement of the epidermis in the stems and roots the the plants (1).

Cork cambium is existing in herbaceous and woody dicots and some gymnosperms. Take away a much more cursory look, cork cambium is just one of the meristematic organization of a tree which are a series of tissues the consist of some incompletely distinguished cells from which the tree grows. Its function is to create cork which is a strong protective material.

The growth and breakthrough of the cork cambium organization vary through the plant types in consideration. It also depends on tree age and conditions of tree growth, as can be viewed from various surfaces of bark, which might be fissured, scaly, tessellated, molting off or smooth.


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

1. Observe the magnified structure the dead cork cells.

2. Apply the knowledge you get here to the general operation the a microscope.



CorkCoverslipSharp single-edge razor blade


In this task you will certainly be observing cork cells with the usage of a compound light microscope. Making use of the cork bits or dust in the bottom of the cork container provides you the possibility to see plainly the individual cells.

Dip your finger in the container that cork shavings or cork dust and pick up a few and location on the slide because that a wet mount. Or alternatively, cut cork slices that are thin sufficient to allow you to see individual cells. If the cork part is thicker 보다 necessary, it becomes daunting to watch the layout of separation, personal, instance cells.

Place the cork top top a file towel or on numerous sheets that paper. Hold the cork firmly and using a razor blade, carefully slice off a thin cork section and be certain to create a really clean surface, make the cut section as thin together possible.

After cut a cork slice that is thin sufficient for light rays to pass with it, prepare the slice into a wet microscopic lense slide mount. This deserve to be done by place a little drop that water on a microscopic lense slide, then include the cork slice on the slide and add another fall of water ~ above the slice and cover v the on slide coverslip.

The wet mount will help make sure the cork doesn"t fly off the slide. The best place come look is follow me the thinnest sheet of the slice.

CAUTION: Razor knives are sharp! To stop cutting her fingers, slice away from them, not toward them. 

At first, start with low strength in viewing your slide. What you will be see is practically identical come what the scientist Robert Hooke saw through his low strength primitive microscope around 3 and half centuries ago.

Switch your microscopic lense to a greater power and identify the details friend can plainly see now which to be invisible in short power.


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

2. Place the very closely prepared microscopic lense slide in position and keep in place firmly gripped v the clips.

3. Look through the microscope’s eyepiece and also then relocate the emphasis knob carefully for the photo to come into clear focus.

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

5. Move the microscope slide roughly until the sample is in the facility of the field of view. High illumination native a tiny angle to the top of the sample is also helpful. 

6. With the emphasis knob, very closely place the image into clear emphasis and additionally readjust the condenser and amount the illumination because that a clean image. Then note what girlfriend see with the x10 magnification.

7. Once the picture of the cork sample comes right into clear focus with the x10 power objective, you can then switch to the greater or lower objective come zoom in or out of the image for clarity. You have the right to at this time, point the objective into various planes for far better observation that the cork sample layouts. 

8. When you done v the viewing, lower the stage, climate click the objective into the short lens power and also take the end the slide.


Berkshire community College Bioscience photo Library Gymnosperm Stem: Pith in 2 Yr Pinus cross section: Pinus stem at 400x Nikon Eclipse E-200 Brightfield,Darkfield & phase Contrast

A maturation cork cabinet is a dead cell v cell walls consisted of of a waxy substance referred to as suberin. This problem is very impermeable come water and gases. Now depending on the types of woody tree you have, the cork cells may contain traces the tannins, lignin, or fatty acids or the cork cells may just be filled through air and the thickness native one cell to the other may be different.

In microscopy through the x10 low strength magnification, the cells room packed with each other closely and also can be watched to be generally arranged in rows radially. Numerous details deserve to be made the end of the cork cells layout with this low power magnification.

Switching come a higher power magnification say x40, the separation between cells have the right to be observed. This separation is thought to be caused by frameworks that arise native the cork cambium, recognized as lenticels. These lenticels or pore-like structures as deserve to be seen in higher powers allowing for the exchange that gases between the outside environment and also the stem of the plant.


In conclusion, once looking at the the smallest piece possible with the microscope using the greater power objective, be sure not to look at the facility of the cork sample however at the edge wherein you can see part light passing v the sample. Each one of these units that can be it was observed is one cork cell and also it"s only the cell wall surface that is visible because the cabinet has currently dried out.

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

Take a look in ~ Beginner microscopic lense Kits to aid you acquire started.

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

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