Micro-CT Applications for Studying Plant Root and Hydration Systems
MicroCT Scanning of Roots in Soil Substrate
“Horticulture scientists studying soils and soilless substrates are working to design the root environment based on a plant’s needs and specific growing requirements.” Researchers seeking to better understand the dynamic relationship between substrates and root development are using micro-CT scanning to digitally dissect plant roots in soil, non-destructively. The images shown above are from a 3D animation of roots in their soil substrate, with digital slicing into roots.
READ MORE on using micro-CT for studying substrates and root development, from Horticultural Substrates Group, North Carolina State University.
Hydraulic Strategy of Cactus Root–Stem Junction for Effective Water Transport
Cactus plants typically are found in deserts, where they receive extremely limited rainfall. They have evolved “to establish a special hydraulic strategy for effective water transport and conservation for survival in adverse desert environments” Using micro-CT to study cactus plants and how they manage hydration under drought conditions helps scientists understand their structure related to water uptake, transport, and storage.
READ MORE on using micro-CT to study cactus hydration systems, from Plant Science,
X-Ray Computed Tomography Reveals the Response of Root System Architecture to Soil Texture
The structure of a plant’s root system, or its root system architecture (RSA), has a great deal to do with efficient water and nutrient uptake from the soil. Scientists hope to improve crop productivity by a better understanding of the effects of soil on root systrems. Micro-CT was used to provide a 3D measurement of changes in root systems of rice in response to a changing substrate. “Our imaging techniques provide a framework to study RSA in different growth environments, the results of which can be used to improve root traits with agronomic potential.”
READ MORE on using micro-CT for the study of root system architecture, from The American Society of Plant Biologists.
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