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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Research Project #430950

Research Project: High Throughput Phenotyping and Analysis of Root System Architecture

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Project Number: 8062-21000-046-08-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2016
End Date: Jun 30, 2019

The primary objectives of this research are: 1) To continue to improve the throughput and image quality of the current RootReader 3D platform for imaging and reconstructing root systems in 3D; 2) Develop new tools based on electrical impedance spectroscopy for quantifying root biomass and imaging root systems and quantifying root architecture traits for plants growing in the field.

1) For objective 1, improvements in the optical root imaging system will be in the post-imaging software, to improve thresholding and skeletonization of images, in order to be able to better identify fine roots. Also, a bigger imaging system will be built, in order to work with crop species with larger root systems, with a focus on maize. 2) For objective 2, impedance/capacitance sensors will be constructed to electrically measure the capacitance and impedance of root systems of different sizes in hydroponic media, to verify the system can estimate root biomass and extent in this easy to use artificial growth media. Then the same system will be employed with roots in soil, to validate its applicability under more real-world conditions.