High resolution in situ rhizosphere imaging of root growth dynamics in oilseed castor plant (Ricinus communis L.) using digital scanners

  • Kamrun NaharEmail author
  • W. L. Pan
Original Article


High resolution computer imaging was developed to evaluate the root dynamics of a biofuel plant—castor bean in a plastic container. Root growth dynamics of the plant was evaluated to determine root and root hair morphology and responses to a particular soil at various time intervals with soil depth. High resolution (2400 picture elements (pixels) cm−1) desktop scanners were buried in containers filled with soil to characterize root and root hair development in every day and after every 7 days. Length from the root tip to the root hair initiation zone, the root hair length (RHL) and root hair diameter (RHD) increased with time and depth. Root development of castor was rapid and extensive compared with shoot growth. Thirty-three days after sowing (DAS) roots of the plant were at least three times as long as the corresponding plant’s shoots. After harvest, roots were washed in water for visualizing actual length. The root hair length (mm) and root hair density (mm−1) was determined for primary axial and lateral roots. The diameter of primary root was higher than the lateral roots and lateral root elongation rate was slower than the primary. This novel approach to in situ rhizosphere imaging allowed observation of an important biofuel plant in root development in response to different soil levels over time and should be useful in future studies of rhizosphere interactions with other biofuel crop establishment and management. This paper therefore describes an automatic method to trace castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) seedling roots grown on soil in a container with high resolution computer imaging technique.


Castor bean Scanner Root dynamics Root soil interaction High resolution imaging Rhizosphere 



The authors wish to thank Mr. Ron Bolton, the Laboratory manager, for his assistance and support in arranging the soil in the bin and also to the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman USA, for the financial support, laboratory facilities and research space to carry out the research work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and ManagementNorth South UniversityDhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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