Use of “functional imaging” to track plant nutrients has many potential applications
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have applied some of the same techniques used in medical imaging to track the distribution of nutrients in poplar trees in response to a simulated insect attack. The research provides new insights on a long-debated theory about how plants respond to environmental stress, and shows that radiotracer imaging can be a big help in unraveling plant biochemistry.
Richard Ferrieri (L) and co-author Dennis Gray, now with the University of Connecticut, position a plant leaf in one of BNLs positron emission tomography (PET) scanners. Their research using radiotracers like those used in human PET scanning is helping to unravel the mysteries of plant biochemistry. (Click image to download hi-res version.)
Done in collaboration with scientists from Tufts University and Stony Brook University, the research is reported in two articles, to be published in Plant, Cell & Environment (June 2005) and in New Phytologist (August 2005), both now available online.
Karen McNulty Walsh | EurekAlert!
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