|MACFALL, J - ELON COLLEGE
Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: A major environmental factor that can impact the growth and function of plant root systems is soil temperature. However, changes in root development in response to changes in soil temperatures are difficult to assess on a dynamic basis since destructive sampling and disturbance of the roots is necessary for any evaluation. A series of studies were conducted to evaluate the utility of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology to determine the impact of changes in soil temperature on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) root development in situ. A specially constructed rF coil for the MRI unit that was matched and tuned for cotton roots was constructed. Plants were grown in white sand in PVC tubes for 30 days in the greenhouse at root temperatures of 28 and 18C respectively. The root development was evaluated both destructively and by MRI techniques for comparison. The results indicated that lateral root development was significantly reduced at the lower soil temperature and that measurements of root length were comparable between both techniques. The results indicate that MRI technology can be a useful tool in increasing our knowledge of plant root response to the environment.