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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Crop Systems Engineering Seminar: Imaging Root Growth and the Root: Soil Interface Event

22 February 2013
Building 85, Room 2207 - Highfield Campus

For more information regarding this event, please email Sevil Payvandi at .

Event details

Peter Gregory, Chief Executive: East Malling Research, and Professor of Global Food Security: Centre for Food Security, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading

Recent developments in x-ray microtomography allow roots growing in soil media to be imaged non-invasively, and for growth to be monitored by sequential measurements although only limited sample numbers and volumes can be scanned. Nevertheless, microtomography of soil does allow root angles and the 3D spatial orientation of roots to be explicitly recorded and for different root architectures to be distinguished.

In addition to root architecture, a plethora of biological, physical and chemical processes occur close to the root surface, in the rhizosphere, to affect the transport and availability of water, nutrients and gases. In recent work we have imaged the interaction of soil-dwelling insects with roots in response to chemical signals. We have also determined the effects of soil particle packing on root elongation and root-soil contact and shown that small changes in macroporosity can have a significant effect on root-soil contact and root growth. 


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