AFSRC scientists are studying root morphology and function in the rhizosphere in order to manage biogeochemical cycles and rhizosphere ecology for sustainable production of Appalachian pasture and amenity grasses. In order to obviate the current technological restrictions on scanning resolutions (max 189 pixels per mm or 4800 dpi) we have developed a computer controlled imaging unit (the XYZScope) that can reach resolutions of 1375 p/mm (35,000 dpi). The XYZScope gives us sub micron resolution capabilities with automatic image acquisition and storage. David Ruckle (Agricultural Science Research Technician) is arranging objects for scanning with the XYZScope. Results of the study were recently published (Zobel, R. 2008. Hardware and Software Efficacy in Assessment of Fine Root Diameter Distributions. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 60(2):178-189.).