Samples of 0.5 ml were mixed with 0.5 ml of fixation medium (3% paraformaldehyde, 2% glutaraldehyde, and 400 mM NaCl, final) and stored at 4°C. Samples were adhered to silicon chips coated with poly-l-lysine (0.01%; Sigma-Aldrich). After three washes in 0.1 M cacodylate buffer, samples were postfixed with 1% OsO4 for 1 hour, followed by three washes in 0.1 M cacodylate buffer and three washes in Milli-Q water. Samples were dehydrated by a series of increasing concentration of ethanol (30 to 100%). Ethanol was replaced by liquid CO2 and critical point dried in BAL-TEC Critical Point Dryer 030. Last, samples were coated with gold/palladium (Edwards, S150) and imaged using the high-tension mode of XL30 ESEM.

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