Installation for: small plants
Environmental monitoring: -
Parameters: root architecture, root growth, root-soil interaction
Capacity: -
Average experiment duration: 4-6 weeks

With the MicroCT (High Resolution X-ray micro-Computed Tomography) we will provide access to our state of the art Nanotom scanner (Phoenix/GE Systems) that has a spatial resolution of 0.5 to 500 µm voxels (volume units),one of few machines available globally at present. The scanner has a 800nm spot size and a maximum energy of 180kV enabling scanning of dense samples. The maximum sample size that fits within the instrument is 12cm and 15 cm length. No sample preparation is necessary and the environmental conditions within the chamber are kept stable during the scanning process. The scanner is equipped with fast acquisition modules for rapid scanning of most biomaterials within 15-40 minutes. Our 96 GB GPU farm enables image reconstruction within 5 minutes for datasets up to 30 GB. The associated image processing suite contains are variety of industrial standard visualisation packages (VGStudioMAX, Avizo etc.) and in house developed measurement tools. Specifically for this project we will support work examining rhizosphere emergence, development and longevity. We have high spec glasshouse and growth room facilities for sample preparation supported by excellent soil physics laboratory equipment for ancillary measurement of water release curves, hydraulic conductivity, matric potential and volumetric water content (e.g., Theta probes, tensiometers etc.). Our scanning facility permits the examination and quantification of emerging root architecture in soil systems. Examples of projects that can be undertaken include: (i) quantifying the difference of root architecture development in contrasting soils under abiotic stresses, (ii) measuring 3-D root elongation in natural soil systems (using 5 minute scans), (iii) measurement of water films at root-soil contact interface, (iv) understanding the impact of bacteria and mycorrhizae on root development in soil, (v) examining root mutant behaviour in soil systems, (vi) rapid quantification of whole 3-D root architecture.


Contact: malcolm.bennett@nottingham.ac.uk 

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