A correlation analysis of Light Microscopy and X-ray MicroCT imaging methods applied to archaeological plant remains' morphological attributes visualization

Sci Rep. 2020 Sep 15;10(1):15105. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-71726-z.


In this work, several attributes of the internal morphology of drupaceous fruits found in the archaeological site Monte Castelo (Rondonia, Brazil) are analyzed by means of two different imaging methods. The aim is to explore similarities and differences in the visualization and analytical properties of the images obtained via High Resolution Light Microscopy and X-ray micro-computed tomography (X-ray MicroCT) methods. Both provide data about the three-layered pericarp (exo-, meso- and endocarp) of the studied exemplars, defined by cell differentiation, vascularisation, cellular contents, presence of sclerenchyma cells and secretory cavities. However, it is possible to identify a series of differences between the information that can be obtained through each of the methods. These variations are related to the definition of contours and fine details of some characteristics, their spatial distribution, size attributes, optical properties and material preservation. The results obtained from both imaging methods are complementary, contributing to a more exhaustive morphological study of the plant remains. X-ray MicroCT in phase-contrast mode represents a suitable non-destructive analytic technique when sample preservation is required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Fruit / anatomy & histology
  • Fruit / physiology*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Microscopy, Phase-Contrast
  • Olea / anatomy & histology
  • Olea / physiology*
  • X-Ray Microtomography / methods*