Plant Science


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0 Q&A 2921 Views Dec 20, 2021

Roots are the prime organ for nutrient and water uptake and are therefore fundamental to the growth and development of plants. However, physical challenges of a heterogeneous environment and diverse edaphic stresses affect root growth in soil. Compacted soil is a serious global problem, causing inhibition of root elongation, which reduces surface area and impacts resource foraging. Visualisation and quantification of roots in soil is difficult due to this growth substrate’s opaque nature; however, non-destructive imaging technologies are now becoming more widely available to plant and soil scientists working to address this challenge. We have recently developed an integrated approach, combining X-ray Computed Tomography (X-ray CT) and confocal microscopy to image roots grown in compacted soil conditions from a plant to a cellular scale. The method is suited to visualize cellular responses of root tips grown in both non-compacted and compacted soils. This protocol presents a fully integrated workflow, including soil column preparation, creation of compaction conditions, plant growth, imaging, and quantification of root adaptive responses at a cellular scale.

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