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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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AFSRC Picture of the Week, July 17, 2006
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Scanner set for scanning plant roots

Voyeurism in the Greenhouse
We are getting down to the grass-roots with Aeroponic Scanning Meso-rhizotrons (ASM).  An ASM is an inexpensive scanner modified to accept a 8.5 inch by 11 inch by 1/2 inch deep chamber that is filled with a nutrient fog.  The whole system is controlled by a small computer that activates the scanner once every two hours.  This then takes a sequence of images which we can use to determine root growth patterns and root responses to nutrients in the nutrient fog.  The image shows two ASMs with six perennial rye plants in each. The movie shows their root growth over the last two weeks.

Photo by Rich Zobel

Link to movie of growing roots (WARNING, VERY LARGE FILE, 50 MB, requires Quicktime viewer)

Link to Powerpoint animation of growing roots (8 MB)

AFSRC Picture of the Week Index


Last Modified: 7/21/2006
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