Overcoming the Challenges of below-Ground Fine Root Research

The studies of ­fine root dynamics –root production, turnover, and lifespan—and root system architecture (RSA) are at the forefront in the fields of agronomy/plant breeding and agroecology.  Future gains in plant productivity will be driven in part by identifying and selecting traits that optimize acquisition of resources, such as water and mineral nutrients, under both conditions of limitation (drought, low fertility) and excess (salinity). 

CID Bio-Science offers a unique solution for root image acquisition and analysis.  The CI-600 In-Situ Root Scanner produces high-resolution, large-format, color images of roots growing around rhizo tubes in minutes.  Root images are non-destructive—a major advantage when compared to previous sampling methods.  Root scanner technology has been widely adopted and cited around the globe for both field and fixed installations.  Owing to its rapid image acquisition, researchers can monitor multiple sites, treatments, and replications. The dynamic nature of root systems was once a challenge to observe, but the development of minirhizotrons has allowed the researcher to see this activity in situ.

Advances in root scanner technology have helped solve the difficulty of obtaining a time series of root images.  Now the challenge is relieving the bottleneck of image analysis.  Designed for touch-screen displays, RootSnap! algorithms assist the investigator by detecting the root as it is traced by finger or mouse, while automatically calculating the length, diameter, area, and volume.

In this workshop, application scientists from CID Bio-Science will:

  1. Assist attendees operating the CI-600 In-Situ Root Scanner
  2. Use root analysis software technology to analyze root system images
  3. Discuss the range of user and research applications for our root imaging/analysis system
  4. Introduce researcher presentations involving the use of root imaging hardware in agriculture and ecology
  5. Discuss specific applications
  6. Network with root imaging and analysis leaders and researchers
Sunday, November 2, 2014: 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
Long Beach Convention Center, Room 102C

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Brienne Meyer