Rhizobox / root box systems of different designs are used to i) separate rhizosphere soil from bulk soil, ii) are a feasible ways to study different aspects of soil–root interactions, iii) to measure root growth, turnover and depth distribution and iv) to sample defined root types (e.g. age classes, orders). Splitting the root compartment of rhizoboxes is a cost-effective way to double the number of replicates, since only negligible additional labor and no additional space is needed. Assembling the compartments with plastic clamps instead of the commonly used screws facilitates the filling/opening procedure and prolongs the usability time by avoiding corrosion of metal screws by moisture and low pH. The flat surfaces allow for space optimized placement (e.g. important in growth chambers) and easy picture acquisition by standard flat bed scanners. Images can be analysed with (free) software programs (see bottom of page). Materials (e.g. type, colour, transparent/opaque, ...) and dimensions (A4, A3, custom) of the rhizo boxes, assembly of parts (glued or with inserted nuts), perforation of the bottom (frequency, diameter) or completely sealed for studies under sterile conditions, autoclavability, 3D multiple compartmentation (e.g. front/back separated by 50µm mesh for mycorrhizal hyphae studies), type of seals (Silicon, Teflon, ...) etc. can be ordered according to needs.
Please check the Plant Image Analysis Webpage (carefully collected by Guilliaume Lobet and colleagues) for further software packages allowing root analysis.
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