Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > U.S. Air Force Technology Helps Scientists Understand Plant Root Function

Abstract:
Using neutron computed tomography techniques, scientist measure in-situ water content.

U.S. Air Force Technology Helps Scientists Understand Plant Root Function

Madison WI | Posted on September 8th, 2008

The McClellan Nuclear Radiation Center (MNRC) in Sacramento, CA was developed by the U.S. Air Force to detect corrosion and defects in aircraft structure using an imaging technique called neutron radiography. This technique is currently helping soil scientists understand the function of plant roots and their uptake of water and nutrients.

Scientists at the University of California in Davis present results from a newly developed non-invasive technique that uses thermal neutron attenuation to measure spatial and temporal distribution of water in soils and near roots at near 0.5 mm spatial resolution or higher.

The study, published in the September-October 2008 issue of Soil Science Society of America Journal, presents the theory and potential applications of thermal neutron tomography and evaluates its sensitivity, with particular attention to using this technique for the measurement of small-scale spatial and temporal variations in root water uptake. A single root water uptake experiment with a corn (Zea mays L.) seedling demonstrated the successful application of neutron computed tomography (NCT), with images showing spatially variable soil water content gradients in the rhizosphere and bulk soil.

Unlike traditional methods for studying root systems, which are destructive, tedious, and difficult to interpret, neutron tomography is a non-invasive imaging method that measures the attenuation of thermal neutrons, much like photons in x- and gamma-ray techniques, to characterize material composition. Although NCT techniques are routinely used in engineering, relatively little is known about their application to soils. Neutron imaging works especially well for substances that contain hydrogen atoms such as water, or other low atomic mass, neutron attenuating materials. The neutron source in this study was a Mark II TRIGA Reactor at McClellan Nuclear Radiation Center (MNRC) in Sacramento, CA. The reactor, which began operation in 1990, is the newest research reactor in the United States. It is also the highest power TRIGATM (Training, Research, and Isotope Production General Atomic) reactor in the United States.

Continued research and instrument development is needed to improve the spatial and temporal resolution of the NCT measurements, including to investigate the application of isotopes in combination with NCT to study plant nutrient uptake processes. The project was funded by DOE's grant for Innovations in Nuclear Infrastructure and Education (INIE).

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at soil.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/72/5/1234.
Soil Science Society of America Journal, soil.scijournals.org, is a peer-reviewed international journal published six times a year by the Soil Science Society of America. Its contents focus on research relating to physics; chemistry; biology and biochemistry; fertility and plant nutrition; genesis, morphology, and classification; water management and conservation; forest, range, and wildland soils; nutrient management and soil and plant analysis; mineralogy; and wetland soils.

####

About Soil Science Society of America


The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

SSSA supports its members by providing quality research-based publications, educational programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a Washington, DC, office. For more information, visit www.soils.org.

SSSA is the founding sponsor of an approximately 5,000-square foot exhibition, Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, opening July 19, 2008 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Sara Uttech
Soil Science Society of America
608-268-4948
suttechatsoils.org

677 South Segoe Road
Madison WI 53711-1086
Tel. 608-273-8080
Fax 608-273-2021
headquartersatsoils.org

Copyright © Soil Science Society of America

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Discoveries

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Announcements

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Military

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

New method for analyzing crystal structure: Exotic materials called photonic crystals reveal their internal characteristics with new method November 30th, 2016

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

News from Quorum: The Agricultural Research Service of the USDA uses a Quorum Cryo-SEM preparation system for the study of mites, ticks and other soft bodied organisms November 22nd, 2016

Water, water -- the two types of liquid water: Understanding water's behavior could help with Alzheimer's research November 11th, 2016

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years: Targeted medicine deliveries and increased energy efficiency are just two of many ways October 26th, 2016

New Agricultural Research Center Debuts at UCF October 12th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project