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Photosynth Res. 2009 Nov-Dec;102(2-3):213-22. doi: 10.1007/s11120-009-9486-3. Epub 2009 Aug 27.

MRI of intact plants.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biophysics and Wageningen NMR Centre, Wageningen University, Dreijenlaan 3, 6703 HA, Wageningen, The Netherlands. Henk.vanas@wur.nl

Abstract

Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-destructive and non-invasive technique that can be used to acquire two- or even three-dimensional images of intact plants. The information within the images can be manipulated and used to study the dynamics of plant water relations and water transport in the stem, e.g., as a function of environmental (stress) conditions. Non-spatially resolved portable NMR is becoming available to study leaf water content and distribution of water in different (sub-cellular) compartments. These parameters directly relate to stomatal water conductance, CO(2) uptake, and photosynthesis. MRI applied on plants is not a straight forward extension of the methods discussed for (bio)medical MRI. This educational review explains the basic physical principles of plant MRI, with a focus on the spatial resolution, factors that determine the spatial resolution, and its unique information for applications in plant water relations that directly relate to plant photosynthetic activity.

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

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