X-ray imaging of leaf venation networks

Benjamin Blonder, Francesco De Carlo, Jared Moore, Mark Rivers, Brian J. Enquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Leaf venation networks mediate many plant resource fluxes and are therefore of broad interest to research questions in plant physiology, systematics, paleoecology, and physics. However, the study of these networks is limited by slow and destructive imaging methods. X-ray imaging of leaf veins is potentially rapid, of high resolution, and nondestructive. Here, we have developed theory for absorption- and phase-contrast X-ray imaging. We then experimentally test these approaches using a synchrotron light source and two commercially available X-ray instruments. Using synchrotron light, we found that major veins could be consistently visualized using absorption-contrast imaging with X-ray energies < 10 keV, while both major and minor veins could be consistently visualized with the use of an iodine contrast agent at an X-ray energy of 33.269 keV. Phase-contrast imaging at a range of energies provided high resolution but highlighted individual cell walls more than veins. Both approaches allowed several hundred samples to be processed per d. Commercial X-ray instruments were able to resolve major veins and some minor veins using absorption contrast. These results show that both commercial and synchrotron X-ray imaging can be successfully applied to leaf venation networks, facilitating research in multiple fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1274-1282
Number of pages9
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume196
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

plant veins
X-radiation
Veins
X-Rays
image analysis
Synchrotrons
leaves
energy
Plant Physiological Phenomena
Light
paleoecology
Physics
plant physiology
physics
iodine
Research
Iodine
Cell Wall
Contrast Media
cell walls

Keywords

  • Imaging
  • Leaf
  • Light source
  • Synchrotron
  • Vein
  • Venation network
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Blonder, B., De Carlo, F., Moore, J., Rivers, M., & Enquist, B. J. (2012). X-ray imaging of leaf venation networks. New Phytologist, 196(4), 1274-1282. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04355.x

X-ray imaging of leaf venation networks. / Blonder, Benjamin; De Carlo, Francesco; Moore, Jared; Rivers, Mark; Enquist, Brian J.

In: New Phytologist, Vol. 196, No. 4, 01.12.2012, p. 1274-1282.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Blonder, B, De Carlo, F, Moore, J, Rivers, M & Enquist, BJ 2012, 'X-ray imaging of leaf venation networks', New Phytologist, vol. 196, no. 4, pp. 1274-1282. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04355.x
Blonder B, De Carlo F, Moore J, Rivers M, Enquist BJ. X-ray imaging of leaf venation networks. New Phytologist. 2012 Dec 1;196(4):1274-1282. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04355.x
Blonder, Benjamin ; De Carlo, Francesco ; Moore, Jared ; Rivers, Mark ; Enquist, Brian J. / X-ray imaging of leaf venation networks. In: New Phytologist. 2012 ; Vol. 196, No. 4. pp. 1274-1282.
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