Olympus Image of the Year Award 2021 has announced the winners of its annual photography competition that recognizes the best worldwide talent in life science photos taken with a microscope.

The global winning image was taken by Jan Martinek (Czech Republic).

Arabidopsis thaliana flower with pollen tubes growing through the pistil. The flower tissues were chemically cleared to become transparent, while the pollen tubes were stained with aniline blue (yellow fluorescence) in order to be seen.

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The winning image for the Americas was captured by Ivan Radin (USA).

A maximum projection of the deconvolved Z-stack of moss Physcomitrium patens protonemal cells. Cell walls (in cyan) were stained live with calcofluor white. Chloroplasts autofluorescence is in Fall LUT.

The winning image for EMEA was taken by Vasilis Kokkoris (Netherlands).

Multinucleate spores of a soil fungus. One cell typically carries one nucleus. In contrast, as seen here, an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal cell carries hundreds of nuclei.

The winning image for Asia was captured by Daniel Han (Australia).

Fern sori capsules with spores bursting out. Captured using Z-stacking.

Honorable Mentions: Di Lu (China)

Semi-separated nuclei of two cells form a heart-to-heart shape. The nuclei were labeled by lamin.

Honorable Mentions: Yujun Chen (USA)

Ovaries of the fruit fly.

Honorable Mentions: Yayun Wang (China)

Mouse brain GABA neurons.

Honorable Mentions: Mingyue Jia (China)

Autofluorescence image of Siberian polygala. Captured using confocal microscopy. Rendered using maximum projection.

Honorable Mentions: David Maitland (UK)

Blue autofluorescent, star-shaped defensive hairs cover the surface of a Deutzia leaf. The hairs are silhouetted against the leaf’s red-fluorescent, chlorophyll-packed cells.

Honorable Mentions: LayraCintron-Rivera (USA)

The developing nervous system of an embryonic zebrafish. Specifically, the image is a color-coded projection of the axonal projections of a zebrafish fixed six days after fertilization.

Honorable Mentions: Igor Siwanowiczfrom (USA)

Rasping tongue, or radula, of an Astraea conehead snail, Astraea tecta. Stained with Congo red. Imaged using a 10X (0.45 NA) objective. Depth color-coded projection.

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