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The application of contrast media for in vivo feature enhancement in X-ray Computed Tomography of soil-grown plant roots

Keyes, Samuel, Gostling, Neil, Cheung, Jessica H., Roose, Tiina, Sinclair, Ian and Marchant, Alan (2017) The application of contrast media for in vivo feature enhancement in X-ray Computed Tomography of soil-grown plant roots Microscopy and Microanalysis

Record type: Article


The use of in vivo X-ray Computed Tomography (?CT) to study plant root systems has become routine, but is often hampered by poor contrast between roots, soil, soil water and soil organic matter. In clinical radiology, imaging of poorly contrasting regions is frequently aided by the use of radio-opaque contrast media. In this study, we present evidence for the utility of iodinated contrast media (ICM) in the study of plant root systems using ?CT. Different dilutions of an ionic and non-ionic ICM (Gastrografin 370 and Niopam 300) were perfused into the aerial vasculature of juvenile pea plants via a leaf flap (Pisum sativum). The root systems were imaged via ?CT, and a variety of image-processing approaches used to quantify and compare the magnitude of the contrast enhancement between different regions. Though the treatment did not appear to significantly aid extraction of full root system architectures from the surrounding soil, it did allow the xylem and phloem units of seminal roots and the vascular morphology within rhizobial nodules to be clearly visualised. The non-ionic, low osmolality contrast agent Niopam appeared to be well tolerated by the plant, whilst Gastrografin showed evidence of toxicity.

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Accepted/In Press date: 31 January 2017
Keywords: X-ray computed tomography, plant roots, contrast agents, imaging
Organisations: Bioengineering Group, Engineering Science Unit, Centre for Biological Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 405305
ISSN: 1431-9276
PURE UUID: 564dbbad-6b45-485e-8835-5a173e06db21

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Date deposited: 02 Feb 2017 13:31
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:25

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Author: Samuel Keyes
Author: Neil Gostling
Author: Jessica H. Cheung
Author: Tiina Roose
Author: Ian Sinclair
Author: Alan Marchant

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