Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 393–402

Statistical interferometric investigation of nano-scale root growth: effects of short-term ozone exposure on ectomycorrhizal pine (Pinus densiflora) seedlings

  • Anura Pushpakumara Rathnayake
  • Hirofumi Kadono
  • Satoru Toyooka
  • Makoto Miwa
Original Article


This study presents the effects of short-term ozone exposure on the nano-scale growth behavior of the fine roots of Pinus densiflora (Japanese red pine) seedlings. Root elongation measurements were obtained in nanometers for very short (sub-second) time intervals by using the optical interference method called statistical interferometry, developed by the authors. Three categories of P. densiflora seedlings were investigated; two categories were infected with ectomycorrhiza of Pisolithus sp. (Ps) and Cenococcum geophilum (Cg), while the third was without any fungal infection. In experiments, two points on a root with a separation of 3 mm were illuminated by laser beams and the elongation was measured continuously by analyzing speckle patterns successively taken by a CCD camera. The ectomycorrhizal fungi-infected and uninfected seedlings were exposed to ozone at concentrations of 120 and 240 ppb for periods of 1, 3, or 5 h in separate treatments. The root elongations of P. densiflora seedlings were measured before and immediately after the each ozone treatment and then the root elongation rates (RER) were determined for growth-measurement periods of 5.5 s and 9.5 min. From the measurements obtained for 9.5 min, we found that the RERs of uninfected and Cg-infected seedlings were reduced by 42 and 18%, respectively, after 5 h of exposure to 120 ppb ozone compared with that before exposure, while the reduction in RER of Ps-infected seedlings was not significant. When the concentration of ozone was increased to 240 ppb, the RERs of Ps-infected and Cg-infected seedlings were reduced by 32 and 44%, respectively, after exposure for 5 h, while the reduction in RER of uninfected seedlings was 59%. These observations prove that the non-mycorrhizal seedling roots are more sensitive to ozone stress. From this study, we found that the RERs of both mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal seedlings apparently fluctuated throughout the measurements, even within a few minutes.


Ectomycorrhiza Ozone Pinus densiflora Root elongation Statistical interferometry 


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Forest Society and Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anura Pushpakumara Rathnayake
    • 1
  • Hirofumi Kadono
    • 1
  • Satoru Toyooka
    • 1
  • Makoto Miwa
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of Science and EngineeringSaitama UniversitySaitamaJapan
  2. 2.Center for Environmental Science in SaitamaKisai, SaitamaJapan

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