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Laboratory Report

Articles: Laboratory Report

Infrared Light Shines for Mycorrhizal Fungi

Infrared spectroscopy is a reliable tool for detecting fungi in grain and for other agricultural uses, but scientists have now discovered that it might be a good way to analyze the mycorrhizal associations of plant roots. Mycorrhizal fungi live in mutually beneficial relationships with nearly all kinds of plants. The fungi help plants by mining the soil for nutrients and water that would be difficult for the plant to obtain on its own. In return, the plants provide the fungi with food produced through photosynthesis. The standard methods for assessing mycorrhizal colonization of roots rely on microscopic examination or analyzing fatty acids of the fungi. The infrared method shows distinct spectral signatures for the components in the cell walls of mycorrhizal fungi. Since this type of testing does not destroy the sample, other analyses can be done on the same sample.
Agricultural Research Magazine, November/December 2010, Vol. 58, No. 10
New Mobile App Makes Plant ID a Snap

Imagine being able to point your handheld device at a leaf, snap a picture, and have an immediate identification of the plant, along with all kinds of informat...

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