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Mexican researchers develop a tool to improve the study of plant roots

The so-called Dual Chamber Rizotron facilitates the control and assessment of root growth through the study of mycorrhizae, fungi and root pathogens, as well as the absorption of nutrients.


Dual Chamber Rizotron.

Researchers from the Mexican Postgraduate College (Colpos) developed a team to study the root system of plants, which facilitates the teaching of the roots of different species as a didactic means.

The equipment, called Dual Chamber Rizotron for the control and assessment of root growth and which has its own characteristics in the study of mycorrhizae, fungi, root pathogens and nutrient absorption, was registered with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI).

It is a widely useful tool in postgraduate research, since the study of the root system of plants is to a certain extent difficult and poses a series of challenges, because when the roots are extracted from the soil for in vitro studies, their physiological behavior is affected, detailed Colpos.

In addition, the roots, being completely embedded in the soil, make it impossible to directly know the physiological changes that they undergo throughout their growth and it is almost impossible to monitor them in real time, explained the College.

He highlighted that the creator of the Dual Chamber Rizotron is the postgraduate researcher in Soil Science at the Postgraduate College, Vicente Espinosa Hernández, under the concept of generating an instrument that would allow him to observe the root development of plants.

The equipment is made up of an aluminum frame with polycarbonate crystals, divided into two chambers, a drain system made up of two inclined surfaces, a mechanism that allows the device to be tilted at different angles, a structure for directing the roots, temperature and humidity insulating walls and a system of wheels.

Colpos pointed out that the tool is economical compared to commercial rhizotrons, it is wide in space for root development, it is practical to operate and easy to transport, in addition to being disassembled, which allows its practicality in storage or transport, and it is not invasive or destructive to the root.

He indicated that master's and doctoral students in Edaphology Postgraduate Sciences use this tool in research activities and there is interest on the part of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) to use it in their research, mainly with wheat.

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