Optical Tomography for 3D Imaging of Fine Roots
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
NM, Suite E-11, Santa Fe, NM, 87505-3993
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractMonitoring the root systems of plants is essential to improving models of crop productivity, soil carbon sequestration and biogeochemical cycling. Fine roots (considered to be smaller than 1-2 mm in diameter) are the dominant component of this system, with roots & lt;0.2 mm in diameter often representing 50% to 95% of total root length. The plasticity and dynamism of fine root development must be characterized to accurately assess ecosystem biomass. This goal is most easily achieved using a high-throughput non-destructive evaluation tool by which repeated measurements of a given root system can track its evolution. New instrumentation is needed to provide rapid, high resolution 3D imaging of fine root systems. In this program, an optical tomography instrument using readily available components will provide a significant advance in the development of high resolution instrumentation for 3D imaging of fine root systems where ease of analysis and high throughput are critical. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Federal benefits include the availability of a rugged, low cost, OCT-based instrument for 3D imaging root system architecture that will provide a valuable new tool for evaluating biological carbon sequestration, as well as characterizing biological response to climate change. Direct commercial application areas include environmental monitoring research and root phenotyping in the plant breeding and agricultural biotechnology industries
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