Credit: Dr Brendan Choat
Volume rendering of a plant with stem with cut away showing internal anatomy of the xylem. One advantage of tomography is that the volume can be sliced in any orientation after the scan is completed.
Dr Brendan Choat from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment is using advanced imaging techniques normally used for human patients to gain insights into the way plants deal with severe droughts, and how quickly different species recover.
Dr Choat has successfully scanned tree branches using non-invasive imaging techniques commonplace in hospitals, such as CT scanning and MRI imaging, to investigate how droughts impact the transportation of water in plants The research was conducted at the University's Biomedical Imaging facility in Campbelltown.
The study, published in the Journal of Plant Physiology, details how these advanced medical techniques allow the visualisation of plants at unprecedented resolution and time scales.