A machine for determining the root length of a sample is described. The machine is basically an opto-electronic scanner. Root segments are cut and placed in water on a glass plate (375×375 mm). The interruption of a light beam moving across the root sample is detected by a photo-diode and the total root length computed. Using this machine a root sample can be measured in less than 3 minutes. Detailed calibration was only conducted up to 50 m although samples as large as several hundred metres can be measured using this machine.
The machine has a high degree of accuracy comparable with or better than other reported methods for determining root length.
Key WordsRoots Growth Measurement Root length Electronics
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