A Method for Studying the Three-dimensional Distribution of Roots Grown in an Artificial Medium

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors:
Mikal E. Saltveit Jr.Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27650

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Eric YoungDepartment of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27650

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Abstract

A method is described for studying the 3-dimensional distribution of roots grown in a medium consisting of small pieces of glass. After growing to a desired size, the plant is sacrificed by evaporating all water from the media with flowing air. To visualize the undisturbed root system, an immersion oil with the same refractive index as the glass is added to the glass container in which the plant was grown.

Contributor Notes

Current address: Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Received for publication February 7, 1983. Paper No. 9022 of the Journal Series of the North Carolina Agricultural Service, Raleigh, N.C. The use of trade names in this publication does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service of products named, nor criticism of similar ones not mentioned. The authors wish to express appreciation to Paul N. Lineberger for building the glass containers, and growing and preparing the plants for viewing, and to William J. Sacher of R.P. Cargille Laboratories, Inc., Cedar Grove, N.J., for preparing the immersion oil used in this study. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.

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