Investigate the "hidden half" of plants, the rhizosphere and soil, ex situ with VSI Rhizobox Systems. Vienna Scientific offers an "ecosystem" of Rhizobox tools optimized for in vivo monitoring of roots and/or soil processes under controlled conditions. Choose from a wide range of accessories (racks, manipulation stands, respiration chambers, etc.) - standard and custom sizes available.
Rhizoboxes for Root & Rhizosphere monitoring and root phenotyping ex situ. Request a quote for custom rhizobox designs by filling out the Rhizobox configuration form (pdf). Try our Rhizobox Configurator to plan your designs. Standard Rhizoboxes (A5 to A3) are available in the online store.
Rhizonboxes for soil water sampling with (Micro-)Rhizons (perforated back panel), and soil water manipulation with RhizonIrrigators. Request quotes for custom rhizonboxes by submitting the Configuration form (pdf). Standard Rhizonboxes (A5 to A3) are available in the online store.
Rhizobox Racks (standard, compact, heavy duty) for angled - and cooling racks (coming soon) for angled & tempered - placement of rhizoboxes. Angled placement facilitates root visibility along the transparent front panel. Stands are custom build to match any Rhizobox dimension.
Light Shielding Panels. Covers the transparent panel(s) of Rhizoboxes to reduce light reaching the rooting zone. Easy to install, compatible with racks.
Rhizobox Manipulation & Imaging Stands. Facilitate opening of a Rhizobox panel (for sampling, manipulation) or imaging (A4 / letter size and less wide boxes only) while plants are still growing inside - reducing the risk of damaging protruding plants.
Gas Flux & Isotope Labelling Chambers. Use matched chambers on top of rhizoboxes to combine root observation with gas flow measurements and isotope labeling.
RhizonIrrigators. Passive irrigation & fertigation of Rhizoboxes and Rhizonboxes at different depths, creating a realistic soil moisture pattern with depth. Implement depth-stratified soil pollution treatments.
Rhizobox Imaging System. Efficient and high-quality imaging of rhizoboxes. The imaging system, featuring a 20 MP CMOS sensor, imaging software and a barcode scanner for automatic naming, can be adapted to a large range of rhizobox dimensions. Read more on the LK-1250 Rhizobox Imager.
We are happy to discuss your research ideas involving Rhizo(n)boxes. Please contact us to get design recommendations fitting your experimental goals, species etc. You can order up to 5 standard rhizoboxes/rhizonboxes (size A3 - A5, 3 cm deep) and accessories via the webstore (within the EU).
For soil-free root phenotyping & bioassays, consider our growth pouch and root phenobox systems. Large Rhizotrons & Root Observation Windows are available for educative displays, and studies on woody plants, as mesocosms and/or field studies.
Try our rhizobox configurator to set the target dimensions of rhizoboxes / rhizonboxes and calculate the effects on rooting space and appriximate the amount of soil required.
Rhizobox / root box systems are used to i) separate rhizosphere soil from bulk soil, ii) are a feasible way to study different aspects of soil - soil pore water - root interactions, iii) to measure root growth, turnover and spatial distribution (and a large range of other root traits relevant to characterize root sytems in phenotyping approaches), and iv) to sample defined root types (e.g. age classes, orders) or soil areas (rhizosphere / bulk soil).
Recenty, Yee and colleagues (2021) provided a great overview on representative rhizobox designs, showcasing the manifold rhizobox configuration options for specific research questions (see Figure). (Subpannel A) "Classical" Rhizotron/Rhizobox set up, (B) Rhizobox with side-compartment, (C) vertical and (D) horizontal root mat chambers, root boxes with (E) mycorrhizal compartments (e.g. separated by 50 µm mesh and/or air gaps), and (F,G) split-root or -box designs (see "Splitbox-design") with complete or semi-permeable compartments. See Yee et al. (2021) for details. Please consider the target plant size when selecting a certain rhizobox size, and the potential effect of root illumination on your results. The integration of RRPs' (Micro-)Rhizons and RhizonIrrigators into the established VSI Rhizobox systems ("Rhizonboxes") creates advanced opportunities for soil water sampling and manipulation in root boxes. Rhizobox racks for angled placement and top-up chambers for gas flux measurements or isotope labelling complement our root box portfolio. For studies under flooded soil conditions, we are currently developing hydroponic rootboxes. Roots on rhizobox images can be analysed with software programs (see below), however, rhizoboxes are also an educative way to illustrate root (and shoot growth) to younger audiences. Ultra large rhizoboxes (Rhizotrons) have been build to exemplify the importance of root systems for plant growth and yield to stakeholders and the general population in educative exhibits at company facilities or natural science museums.
Roots on rhizobox / root box transparent surfaces or after harvest can be analysed with a growing range of free or commercial software programs. Here we give a brief onverview on potential programs to use for image analysis:
Please check the Plant Image Analysis Webpage (carefully collected by Guillaume Lobet and colleagues) for further software packages allowing root analysis.
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