Chapter

Measuring Roots

pp 135-148

Date:

3D Quantification of Plant Root Architecture In Situ

  • Suqin FangAffiliated withRoot Biology Center, South China Agricultural University
  • , Randy ClarkAffiliated withUS Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Cornell University
  • , Hong LiaoAffiliated withRoot Biology Center, South China Agricultural University Email author 

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Abstract

Root systems play important roles in plant nutrient and water uptake. The spatial distribution and structure of root systems can affect many physiological functions, carbon distribution, and plant anchorage. The accurate measurement of root systems is necessary for better understanding of plant growth and responses to biotic and abiotic stress. Due to their underground growth habitat, root systems are usually excavated from the soil before root measurements are taken. This process can destroy the root system architecture and result in the lose of fine root structures, and consequently, many devices and technologies have been developed to nondestructively capture and measure root systems in situ in 2D or 3D, such as WinRhizo, minirhizotrons, X-ray computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging.